Distinct functional modes of SUMOylation for retinoid X receptor alpha

Wai-Ping Lee, Sarita Jena, Patricia Rodriguez, Sinead P. O'Donovan, Carl Wagner, Peter W. Jurutka, Paul Thompson

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The present study investigated human retinoid X receptor alpha (hRXRa) as a substrate for modification with small ubiquitin like modifier (SUMO) and how members of the protein inhibitor of activated STAT (PIAS) family may impact upon this process. In agreement with a previous study, we validate Ubc9 to facilitate SUMOylation of hRXRa at lysine 108 but note this modification to occur for all isoforms rather than specifically with SUMO1 and to preferentially occur with the unliganded form of hRXRa. SUMOylation of hRXRa is significantly enhanced through PIAS4-mediated activity with lysine 245 identified as a specific SUMO2 acceptor site modified in a PIAS4-dependent fashion. While individual mutations at lysine 108 or 245 modestly increase receptor activity, the combined loss of SUMOylation at both sites
significantly potentiates the transcriptional responsiveness of hRXRa suggesting both sites may cooperate in a DNA element-dependent context. Our findings highlight combinatorial effects of SUMOylation may regulate RXRa-directed signalling in a gene-specific fashion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-200
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 23 Jun 2015


  • PIAS
  • Retinoid X receptor
  • SUMO
  • Transcription


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