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Subcell Biochem. 2010;54:170-83. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4419-6676-6_14.

The in vivo functions of desumoylating enzymes.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, Texas, 77030, USA.


This chapter reviews the current literature to highlight the biological mechanisms mediated via the enzymatic actions of the SUMO-specific protease family. All members of this cysteine protease family express isopeptidase activity to deSUMOylate conjugated cellular protein targets. Here, we discuss how SUMO proteases discriminate amongst the SUMOylated targets based on subcellular localization and conjugated SUMO isoform. Several signal transduction pathways modulate endogenous levels of the deSUMOylating enzymes to regulate cell growth, cell cycle progression and gene transcription. The ability of specific proteases to mediate these cellular events is presented. In addition, we examine cases in which aberrant SUMO protease expression affects normal embryonic development, carcinogenesis and the onset of additional pathophysiological conditions.

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