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EMBO Rep. 2011 Sep 30;12(10):1018-23. doi: 10.1038/embor.2011.152.

The transcription factor Krox20 is an E3 ligase that sumoylates its Nab coregulators.

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  • 1Stem Cells, CABIMER (CSIC), Avenida Americo Vespucio, Seville E-41092, Spain.


Covalent attachment of small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) to proteins regulates many processes in the eukaryotic cell. This reaction is similar to ubiquitination and usually requires an E3 ligase for substrate modification. However, only a few SUMO ligases have been described so far, which frequently facilitate sumoylation by bringing together the SUMO-conjugating enzyme Ubc9 and the target protein. Ubc9 is an interaction partner of the transcription factor Krox20, a key regulator of hindbrain development. Here, we show that Krox20 functions as a SUMO ligase for its coregulators--the Nab proteins--and that Nab sumoylation negatively modulates Krox20 transcriptional activity in vivo.

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