Research & Teaching Faculty

Characterizing the N- and C-terminal Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMO)-interacting Motifs of the Scaffold Protein DAXX

TitleCharacterizing the N- and C-terminal Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMO)-interacting Motifs of the Scaffold Protein DAXX
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsEscobar-Cabrera, E, Okon, M, Lau, DKW, Dart, CF, Bonvin, AMJJ, McIntosh, LP
Date PublishedJUN 3

DAXX is a scaffold protein with diverse roles that often depend upon binding SUMO via its N- and/or C-terminal SUMO-interacting motifs (SIM-N and SIM-C). Using NMR spectroscopy, we characterized the in vitro binding properties of peptide models of SIM-N and SIM-C to SUMO-1 and SUMO-2. In each case, binding was mediated by hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions and weakened with increasing ionic strength. Neither isolated SIM showed any significant paralog specificity, and the measured mu M range K-D values of SIM-N toward both SUMO-1 and SUMO-2 were similar to 4-fold lower than those of SIM-C. Furthermore, SIM-N bound SUMO-1 predominantly in a parallel orientation, whereas SIM-C interconverted between parallel and antiparallel binding modes on an ms to mu s time scale. The differences in affinities and binding modes are attributed to the differences in charged residues that flank the otherwise identical hydrophobic core sequences of the two SIMs. In addition, within its native context, SIM-N bound intramolecularly to the adjacent N-terminal helical bundle domain of DAXX, thus reducing its apparent affinity for SUMO. This behavior suggests a possible autoregulatory mechanism for DAXX. The interaction of a C-terminal fragment of DAXX with an N-terminal fragment of the sumoylated Ets1 transcription factor was mediated by SIM-C. Importantly, this interaction did not involve any direct contacts between DAXX and Ets1, but rather was derived from the non-covalent binding of SIM-C to SUMO-1, which in turn was covalently linked to the unstructured N-terminal segment of Ets1. These results provide insights into the binding mechanisms and hence biological roles of the DAXX SUMO-interacting motifs.