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Mol Cell. 2004 Feb 27;13(4):611-7.

SUMO promotes HDAC-mediated transcriptional repression.

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School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester, Michael Smith Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT, United Kingdom.


Recently, SUMO modification has been shown to impart repressive properties on several transcriptional regulatory proteins. Indeed, the ETS domain transcription factor Elk-1 is modified by SUMO, and this modification is reversed by ERK MAP kinase pathway activation. This causes a switch from a repressive to activated state. However, the mechanism(s) of SUMO-mediated transcriptional repression is unclear. Here, we have investigated how sumoylation of Elk-1 leads to transcriptional repression. We demonstrate that sumoylation of Elk-1 results in the recruitment of histone deacetylase activity to promoters. In particular, our data point to a key role for HDAC-2. This recruitment leads to decreased histone acetylation and hence transcriptional repression at Elk-1 target genes. Thus, our data demonstrate an important integration point for two protein-modifying pathways in the cell, the SUMO and deacetylation pathways, that combine to promote transcriptional repression.

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