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Biochemistry, Pathophysiology, and Regulation of Linear Ubiquitination: Intricate Regulation by Coordinated Functions of the Associated Ligase and Deubiquitinase

SUMO Interacting Motifs: Structure and Function

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Amir Orian
Cells 2021, 10(11), 2825;
Received: 9 September 2021 / Revised: 14 October 2021 / Accepted: 14 October 2021 / Published: 21 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ubiquitin and Ubiquitin-Like Pathways in Development and Disease)
Small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) is a member of the ubiquitin-related protein family. SUMO modulates protein function through covalent conjugation to lysine residues in a large number of proteins. Once covalently conjugated to a protein, SUMO often regulates that protein’s function by recruiting other cellular proteins. Recruitment frequently involves a non-covalent interaction between SUMO and a SUMO-interacting motif (SIM) in the interacting protein. SIMs generally consist of a four-residue-long hydrophobic stretch of amino acids with aliphatic non-polar side chains flanked on one side by negatively charged amino acid residues. The SIM assumes an extended β-strand-like conformation and binds to a conserved hydrophobic groove in SUMO. In addition to hydrophobic interactions between the SIM non-polar core and hydrophobic residues in the groove, the negatively charged residues in the SIM make favorable electrostatic contacts with positively charged residues in and around the groove. The SIM/SUMO interaction can be regulated by the phosphorylation of residues adjacent to the SIM hydrophobic core, which provide additional negative charges for favorable electrostatic interaction with SUMO. The SUMO interactome consists of hundreds or perhaps thousands of SIM-containing proteins, but we do not fully understand how each SUMOylated protein selects the set of SIM-containing proteins appropriate to its function. SIM/SUMO interactions have critical functions in a large number of essential cellular processes including the formation of membraneless organelles by liquid–liquid phase separation, epigenetic regulation of transcription through histone modification, DNA repair, and a variety of host–pathogen interactions.
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Keywords: SUMO; SUMO interacting motif; phase separation; DNA repair; host–pathogen interactions; histones; post-translational protein modification SUMO; SUMO interacting motif; phase separation; DNA repair; host–pathogen interactions; histones; post-translational protein modification
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yau, T.-Y.; Sander, W.; Eidson, C.; Courey, A.J. SUMO Interacting Motifs: Structure and Function. Cells 2021, 10, 2825.

AMA Style

Yau T-Y, Sander W, Eidson C, Courey AJ. SUMO Interacting Motifs: Structure and Function. Cells. 2021; 10(11):2825.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yau, Tak-Yu, William Sander, Christian Eidson, and Albert J. Courey 2021. "SUMO Interacting Motifs: Structure and Function" Cells 10, no. 11: 2825.

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