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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Aug 12;105(32):11424-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0710561105. Epub 2008 Aug 5.

Retinoic acid-stimulated sequential phosphorylation, PML recruitment, and SUMOylation of nuclear receptor TR2 to suppress Oct4 expression.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.


We previously reported an intricate mechanism underlying the homeostasis of Oct4 expression in normally proliferating stem cell culture of P19, mediated by SUMOylation of orphan nuclear receptor TR2. In the present study, we identify a signaling pathway initiated from the nongenomic activity of all-trans retinoic acid (atRA) to stimulate complex formation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 (ERK2) with its upstream kinase, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK). The activated ERK2 phosphorylates threonine-210 (Thr-210) of TR2, stimulating its subsequent SUMOylation. Dephosphorylated TR2 recruits coactivator PCAF and functions as an activator for its target gene Oct4. Upon phosphorylation at Thr-210, TR2 increasingly associates with promyelocytic leukemia (PML) nuclear bodies, becomes SUMOylated, and recruits corepressor RIP140 to act as a repressor for its target, Oct4. To normally proliferating P19 stem cell culture, exposure to a physiological concentration of atRA triggers a rapid nongenomic signaling cascade to suppress Oct4 gene and regulate cell proliferation.

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