RSUME, a small RWD-containing protein, enhances SUMO conjugation and stabilizes HIF-1alpha during hypoxia.
SUMO conjugation to proteins is involved in the regulation of diverse cellular functions. We have identified a protein, RWD-containing sumoylation enhancer (RSUME), that enhances overall SUMO-1, -2, and -3 conjugation by interacting with the SUMO conjugase Ubc9. RSUME increases noncovalent binding of SUMO-1 to Ubc9 and enhances Ubc9 thioester formation and SUMO polymerization. RSUME enhances the sumoylation of IkB in vitro and in cultured cells, leading to an inhibition of NF-kB transcriptional activity. RSUME is induced by hypoxia and enhances the sumoylation of HIF-1alpha, promoting its stabilization and transcriptional activity during hypoxia. Disruption of the RWD domain structure of RSUME demonstrates that this domain is critical for RSUME action. Together, these findings point to a central role of RSUME in the regulation of sumoylation and, hence, several critical regulatory pathways in mammalian cells.