The transcription factor Elk-1 is a nuclear target of mitogen-activated protein kinases and regulates immediate early gene activation by extracellular signals. We show that Elk-1 is also conjugated to SUMO on either lysines 230, 249, or 254. Mutation of all three sites is necessary to fully block SUMOylation in vitro and in vivo. This Elk-1 mutant, Elk-1(3R), shuttles more rapidly to nuclei of Balb/C cells fused to transfected HeLa cells. Coexpression of SUMO-1 or -2 strongly reduces shuttling by Elk-1 without affecting that of Elk-1(3R), indicating that SUMOylation regulates nuclear retention of Elk-1. Accordingly, overexpression of Elk-1(3R) in PC12 cells, where cytoplasmic relocalization of Elk-1 has been linked to differentiation, enhances neurite extension relative to Elk-1. The effect of Elk-1, but not of the 3R mutant, was blocked upon cotransfection with SUMO-1 or -2 and enhanced by coexpression with mutant Ubc-9. Thus, SUMO conjugation is a novel regulator of Elk-1 function through the control of its nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling. Elk-1; SUMO; neuronal differentiation; nuclear localization Footnotes Abbreviations used in this paper: CPITC, coumarin phenyl isothiocyanate; DN, dominant negative; SRF, serum response factor; WT, wild-type. Submitted: 28 October 2003 Accepted: 18 May 2004
The Journal of Cell Biology – Rockefeller University Press
Published: Jun 21, 2004
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