Mechanisms of SUMO-dependent gene silencing
Many proteins involved in regulated gene expression such as sequence-specific transcription factors, cofactors and chromatin-modifying enzymes are reversibly modified by SUMO. Apart from a few exceptions, SUMO modification of transcriptional regulators is linked to repression of transcription. By using the transcription factor Sp3 as a paradigm for regulation of transcription by SUMOylation, we found that SUMO modification can act as a molecular beacon for the recruitment of chromatin-modifying machineries that impose epigenetic silencing on target genes. Following the mechanistic clues provided by these findings we will further analyze the role of SUMOylation in gene silencing.