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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2007 Jun;19(3):350-5. Epub 2007 Apr 27.

SUMOrganization of the nucleus.

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Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology, Stübeweg 51, Freiburg 79108, Germany.


In the eukaryotic nucleus, gene expression and maintenance of genome integrity are tightly controlled at multiple levels, from the molecular details to the higher-order structure of the genome. The nucleus contains spatially and functionally distinct compartments in which these fundamental processes are carried out. While the dynamics and functions of some nuclear subdomains, like the nucleolus, have been well studied, other domains, like the PML-nuclear bodies, remain enigmatic. Recent evidence has now implicated the SUMOylation pathway as an important player in subnuclear architecture, particularly in the assembly of PML-nuclear bodies. Related functions include the organization of chromatin loops and maintenance of rDNA repeat stability. Consequently, complete loss of SUMO modification profoundly affects nuclear organization and cell viability.

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