Exploring the role of SUMOylation in cellular transformation and colorectal cancer

Abstract : The post-translational modification by the Small Ubiquitin-like MOdifier (SUMO) is an essential regulatory mechanism of protein function affecting the interactions of its substrates with their protein and nucleic acid partners, their localization, stability or enzymatic activity. SUMOylation is a reversible process involving specific enzymes. Using genetically modified models deficient for the unique E2 enzyme, UBC9, we characterized the consequences of hypoSUMOylation in cellular transformation and colorectal cancer. The results obtained in vitro demonstrate that a total loss of SUMOylation does not have significant effects in the survival of primary cells but strongly affects the survival of transformed cells. Surprisingly however, the reduction in half of the quantity of UBC9 increased the proliferation of transformed cells but had no effect in the proliferation of primary cells. In animal models, contradictory results were obtained. More specifically, the reduction in half of the quantity of UBC9 increased the number of intestinal polyps in a murine model of genetically induced colorectal carcinogenesis (APC). On the contrary, in a chemical model consisting of mutagenic and an inflammatory agent (AOM-DSS), the reduction in half of UBC9 decreases the number of polyps in the colon of the mice. On the whole, these results allow us to increase our knowledge of SUMOylation and to envisage a possible use of SUMOylation inhibitors for cancer therapy, however the level of SUMOylation would have to be strictly and finely controlled depending on the type of cancer.
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Eleftheria Chalatsi. Exploring the role of SUMOylation in cellular transformation and colorectal cancer. Cancer. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017PA066273⟩. ⟨tel-02298577⟩

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