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Rhes, a striatal enriched protein, regulates post-translational small-ubiquitin-like-modifier (SUMO) modification of nuclear proteins and alters gene expression.

Rhes (Ras homolog enriched in the striatum), a multifunctional protein that regulates striatal functions associated with motor behaviors and neurological diseases, can shuttle from cell to cell via the formation of tunneling-like nanotubes (TNTs). However, the mechanisms by which Rhes mediates diverse functions remain unclear. Rhes is a small GTPase family member which contains a unique C-terminal Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMO) E3-like domain that promotes SUMO post-translational modification of proteins (SUMOylation) by promoting “cross-SUMOylation” of the SUMO enzyme SUMO E1 (Aos1/Uba2) and SUMO E2 ligase (Ubc-9). Nevertheless, the identity of the SUMO substrates of Rhes remains largely unknown. Here, by combining high throughput interactome and SUMO proteomics, we report that Rhes regulates the SUMOylation of nuclear proteins that are involved in the regulation of gene expression. Rhes increased the SUMOylation of histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) and histone 2B, while decreasing SUMOylation of heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein M (HNRNPM), protein polybromo-1 (PBRM1) and E3 SUMO-protein ligase (PIASy). We also found that Rhes itself is SUMOylated at 6 different lysine residues (K32, K110, K114, K120, K124, and K245). Furthermore, Rhes regulated the expression of genes involved in cellular morphogenesis and differentiation in the striatum, in a SUMO-dependent manner. Our findings thus provide evidence for a previously undescribed role for Rhes in regulating the SUMOylation of nuclear targets and in orchestrating striatal gene expression via SUMOylation.

Publication date
avril 8, 2024
Principal Investigators
Rivera O, Sharma M, Dagar S, Shahani N, Ramĺrez-Jarquĺn UN, Crynen G, Karunadharma P, McManus F, Bonneil E, Thibault P, Subramaniam S
PubMed reference
Cell Mol Life Sci 2024;81(1):169
PubMed ID
Department of Neuroscience, The Herbert Wertheim UF Scripps Institute for Biomedical Innovation and Technology, Jupiter, FL, 33458, USA.