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Roles for SUMO in pre‐mRNA processing

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When the small ubiquitin‐like modifier (SUMO)‐1 protein is localized on the genome, it is found on proteins bound to the promoters of the most highly active genes and on proteins bound to the DNA‐encoding exons. Inhibition of the SUMO‐1 modification leads to reductions in initiation of messenger RNA (mRNA) synthesis and splicing. In this review, we discuss what is known about the SUMOylation of factors involved in transcription initiation, pre‐mRNA processing, and polyadenylation. We suggest a mechanism by which SUMO modifications of factors at the promoters of high‐activity genes trigger the formation of an RNA polymerase II complex that coordinates and integrates the stimulatory signals for each process to catalyze an extremely high level of gene expression. WIREs RNA 2016, 7:105–112. doi: 10.1002/wrna.1318 This article is categorized under: RNA Interactions with Proteins and Other Molecules > Protein–RNA Interactions: Functional Implications RNA Processing > Splicing Regulation/Alternative Splicing
Model for SUMOylation‐mediated fast‐track transcription and processing of messenger RNA (mRNA). In this depiction, many factors have been left out to emphasize how ‘active’ transcription may differ from ‘fast‐track’ expression. We model that on most RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) templates, transcription occurs by multiple independent protein–protein and protein–template interactions to yield a pre‐mRNA product that is likely processed co‐transcriptionally. We model that the key difference with the fast‐track synthesis is the SUMO modification of multiple factors, including SAFB, splicing factors, and polyadenylation factors, to stimulate the physical interaction of these complexes and coordinate the change from an active level of expression to a significantly higher level of expression, driving mRNA levels for these genes to very high abundances.
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RNA Processing > Splicing Regulation/Alternative Splicing
RNA Interactions with Proteins and Other Molecules > Protein–RNA Interactions: Functional Implications

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