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1.  SUMO-1 possesses DNA binding activity 
BMC Research Notes  2010;3:146.
Conjugation of small ubiquitin-related modifiers (SUMOs) is a frequent post-translational modification of proteins. SUMOs can also temporally associate with protein-targets via SUMO binding motifs (SBMs). Protein sumoylation has been identified as an important regulatory mechanism especially in the regulation of transcription and the maintenance of genome stability. The precise molecular mechanisms by which SUMO conjugation and association act are, however, not understood.
Using NMR spectroscopy and protein-DNA cross-linking experiments, we demonstrate here that SUMO-1 can specifically interact with dsDNA in a sequence-independent fashion. We also show that SUMO-1 binding to DNA can compete with other protein-DNA interactions at the example of the regulatory domain of Thymine-DNA Glycosylase and, based on these competition studies, estimate the DNA binding constant of SUMO1 in the range 1 mM.
This finding provides an important insight into how SUMO-1 might exert its activity. SUMO-1 might play a general role in destabilizing DNA bound protein complexes thereby operating in a bottle-opener way of fashion, explaining its pivotal role in regulating the activity of many central transcription and DNA repair complexes.
PMCID: PMC2892505  PMID: 20504299
2.  EBER2 RNA-induced transcriptome changes identify cellular processes likely targeted during Epstein Barr Virus infection 
BMC Research Notes  2008;1:100.
Little is known about the physiological role of the EBER1 and 2 nuclear RNAs during Epstein Barr viral infection. The EBERs are transcribed by cellular RNA Polymerase III and their strong expression results in 106 to 107 copies per EBV infected cell, making them reliable diagnostic markers for the presence of EBV. Although the functions of most of the proteins targeted by EBER RNAs have been studied, the role of EBERs themselves still remains elusive.
The cellular transcription response to EBER2 expression using the wild-type and an internal deletion mutant was determined. Significant changes in gene expression patterns were observed. A functional meta-analysis of the regulated genes points to inhibition of stress and immune responses, as well as activation of cellular growth and cytoskeletal reorganization as potential targets for EBER2 RNA. Different functions can be assigned to different parts of the RNA.
These results provide new avenues to the understanding of EBER2 and EBV biology, and set the grounds for a more in depth functional analysis of EBER2 using transcriptome activity measurements.
PMCID: PMC2588618  PMID: 18957101
3.  Determining the impact of alternative splicing events on transcriptome dynamics 
BMC Research Notes  2008;1:94.
The complete sequencing of the human genome and its subsequent analysis revealed a predominant role for alternative splicing in the generation of proteome diversity. Splice switching oligonucleotides (SSOs) are a powerful and specific tool to experimentally control alternative splicing of endogenous messenger RNAs in living cells. SSOs also have therapeutic potential to treat diseases that are caused by aberrant splicing. The assignment of biological roles to alternative splicing events of currently unknown function promises to provide a largely untapped source of potential new therapeutic targets. Here we have developed a protocol that combines high sensitivity microarrays with the transfection of SSOs to monitor global changes in gene expression downstream of alternate, endogenous splice events.
When applied to a well-characterized splicing event in the Bcl-x gene, the application of high sensitivity microarrays revealed a link between the induction of the Bcl-xS isoform and the repression of genes involved in protein synthesis.
The strategy introduced herein provides a useful approach to define the biological impact of any given alternative splicing event on global gene expression patterns. Furthermore, our data provide the first link between Bcl-xS expression and the repression of ribosomal protein gene expression.
PMCID: PMC2584107  PMID: 18950505

Results 1-3 (3)