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J Biol Chem. 2004 Jun 25;279(26):27233-8. Epub 2004 Apr 29.

A M55V polymorphism in a novel SUMO gene (SUMO-4) differentially activates heat shock transcription factors and is associated with susceptibility to type I diabetes mellitus.

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Molecular Diabetes and Metabolism Section and the Harry B. and Aileen B. Gordon Diabetes Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Three SUMO (small ubiquitin-related modifier) genes have been identified in humans, which tag proteins to modulate subcellular localization and/or enhance protein stability and activity. We report the identification of a novel intronless SUMO gene, SUMO-4, that encodes a 95-amino acid protein having an 86% amino acid homology with SUMO-2. In contrast to SUMO-2, which is highly expressed in all of the tissues examined, SUMO-4 mRNA was detected mainly in the kidney. A single nucleotide polymorphism was detected in SUMO-4, substituting a highly conserved methionine with a valine residue (M55V). In HepG2 (liver carcinoma) cells transiently transfected with SUMO-4 expression vectors, Met-55 was associated with the elevated levels of activated heat shock factor transcription factors as compared with Val-55, whereas the levels of NF-kappaB were suppressed to an identical degree. The SUMO-4M (Met) variant is associated with type I diabetes mellitus susceptibility in families (p = 4.0 x 10(-4)), suggesting that it may be involved in the pathogenesis of type I diabetes.

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