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Plant Physiol. 2016 Jul;171(3):2191-210. doi: 10.1104/pp.16.00353. Epub 2016 May 15.

Defining the SUMO System in Maize: SUMOylation Is Up-Regulated during Endosperm Development and Rapidly Induced by Stress.

Author information

1
Department of Genetics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706; andDepartment of Biology, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 63130.
2
Department of Genetics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706; andDepartment of Biology, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 63130 rdvierstra@wustl.edu.

Abstract

In response to abiotic and biotic challenges, plants rapidly attach small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) to a large collection of nuclear proteins, with studies in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) linking SUMOylation to stress tolerance via its modification of factors involved in chromatin and RNA dynamics. Despite this importance, little is known about SUMOylation in crop species. Here, we describe the plant SUMO system at the phylogenetic, biochemical, and transcriptional levels with a focus on maize (Zea mays). In addition to canonical SUMOs, land plants encode a loosely constrained noncanonical isoform and a variant containing a long extension upstream of the signature β-grasp fold, with cereals also expressing a novel diSUMO polypeptide bearing two SUMO β-grasp domains in tandem. Maize and other cereals also synthesize a unique SUMO-conjugating enzyme variant with more restricted expression patterns that is enzymatically active despite a distinct electrostatic surface. Maize SUMOylation primarily impacts nuclear substrates, is strongly induced by high temperatures, and displays a memory that suppresses subsequent conjugation. Both in-depth transcript and conjugate profiles in various maize organs point to tissue/cell-specific functions for SUMOylation, with potentially significant roles during embryo and endosperm maturation. Collectively, these studies define the organization of the maize SUMO system and imply important functions during seed development and stress defense.

PMID:
27208252
PMCID:
PMC4936565
DOI:
10.1104/pp.16.00353
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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