Abstract: Post-translational modifications are able to regulate protein function and cellular processes in a rapid and reversible way. SUMOylation, the post-translational modification of proteins by the addition of SUMO, is a highly conserved process that seems to be present in modern cells. However, the mechanism of protein SUMOylation in earlier divergent eukaryotes, such as Giardia lamblia, is only starting to become apparent. In this work, we report the presence of a single SUMO gene encoding to SUMO protein in Giardia. Monoclonal antibodies against recombinant Giardia SUMO protein revealed the cytoplasmic localization of native SUMO in wild-type trophozoites. Moreover, the over-expression of SUMO protein showed a mainly cytoplasmic localization, though also neighboring the plasma membrane, flagella, and around and even inside the nuclei. Western blot assays revealed a number of SUMOylated proteins in a range between 20 and 120 kDa. The genes corresponding to putative enzymes involved in the SUMOylation pathway were also explored. Our results as a whole suggest that SUMOylation is a process conserved in the eukaryotic lineage, and that its study is significant for understanding the biology of this interesting parasite and the role of post-translational modification in its evolution.
Keywords: Giardia lamblia; SUMO; SUMOylation pathway; monoclonal antibody production; post-translational modifications
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Vranych, C.V.; Merino, M.C.; Zamponi, N.; Touz, M.C.; Rópolo, A.S. SUMOylation in Giardia lamblia: A Conserved Post-Translational Modification in One of the Earliest Divergent Eukaryotes. Biomolecules 2012, 2, 312-330.
Vranych CV, Merino MC, Zamponi N, Touz MC, Rópolo AS. SUMOylation in Giardia lamblia: A Conserved Post-Translational Modification in One of the Earliest Divergent Eukaryotes. Biomolecules. 2012; 2(3):312-330.
Vranych, Cecilia V.; Merino, María C.; Zamponi, Nahuel; Touz, María C.; Rópolo, Andrea S. 2012. "SUMOylation in Giardia lamblia: A Conserved Post-Translational Modification in One of the Earliest Divergent Eukaryotes." Biomolecules 2, no. 3: 312-330.