Journal Article

SUMO proteases: uncovering the roles of deSUMOylation in plants

Gary Yates, Anjil Kumar Srivastava and Ari Sadanandom

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Volume 67, issue 9, pages 2541-2548
Published in print April 2016 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online March 2016 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:
SUMO proteases: uncovering the roles of deSUMOylation in plants

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Plants have evolved to cope with changing environmental conditions. One way plants achieve this is through post-translational modification of target proteins by ubiquitination and SUMOylation. These post-translational modifiers (PMs) can alter stability, protein–protein interactions, and the overall fate of the protein. Both of these systems have remarkable similarities in terms of the process leading to attachment of the PM to its substratehaving to undertake activation, conjugation, and finally ligation to the target. In the ubiquitin system, there are a vast number of ubiquitin ligase enzymes (E3s) that provide specificity for the attachment of ubiquitin. With the SUMO system, only a small number of SUMO E3 ligases have so far been identified in the fully sequenced plant genomes. In Arabidopsis thaliana, there are only two SUMO E3s, compared to over 1400 ubiquitin E3s, a trend also observed in crop species such as Oryza sativa and Zea mays. Recent research indicates that removing SUMO from its substrate by the enzymatically active SUMO proteases is a vital part of this system. A class of SUMO proteases called ubiquitin-like proteases (ULPs) are widespread in all eukaryotes; within plants, both monocot and dicot kingdoms have conserved and divergent ULPs and ULP-like proteases. This paper examines the roles ULPs have in stress responses and highlights the ‘fine-tuning’ of SUMO attachment/removal in balancing growth versus stress.

Keywords: Biotechnology; crops; post-translational modification; protease; protein stability; signalling; stress; ubiquitin.

Journal Article.  6186 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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