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Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Sep;28(17):5381-90. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00651-08. Epub 2008 Jun 23.

Sumo-1 function is dispensable in normal mouse development.

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  • 1University of Helsinki, Institute of Biomedicine (Physiology), Biomedicum Helsinki, P.O. Box 63 (Haartmaninkatu 8), FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland.


To elucidate SUMO-1 functions in vivo, we targeted by homologous recombination the last three exons of the murine Sumo-1 gene. Sumo-1 mRNA abundance was reduced to one-half in heterozygotes and was undetectable in Sumo-1(-/-) mice, and SUMO-1-conjugated RanGAP1 was detectable in wild-type mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) but not in Sumo-1(-/-) MEFs, indicating that gene targeting yielded Sumo-1-null mice. Sumo-1 mRNA is expressed in all tissues of wild-type mice, and its abundance is highest in the testis, brain, lungs, and spleen. Sumo-2 and Sumo-3 mRNAs are also expressed in all tissues, but their abundance was not upregulated in Sumo-1-null mice. The development and function of testis are normal in the absence of Sumo-1, and Sumo-1(-)(/)(-) mice of both sexes are viable and fertile. In contrast to a previous report (F. S. Alkuraya et al., Science 313:1751, 2006), we did not observe embryonic or early postnatal demise of Sumo-1-targeted mice; genotypes of embryos and 21-day-old mice were of predicted Mendelian ratios, and there was no defect in lip and palate development in Sumo-1(+/-) or Sumo-1(-/-) embryos. The ability of Sumo-1(-/-) MEFs to differentiate into adipocyte was not different from that of wild-type MEFs. Collectively, our results support the notion that most, if not all, SUMO-1 functions are compensated for in vivo by SUMO-2 and SUMO-3.

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