MEL-18 interacts with HSF2 and the SUMO E2 UBC9 to inhibit HSF2 sumoylation

Jie Zhang, Michael L. Goodson, Yiling Hong, Kevin D. Sarge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In a previous study we found that sumoylation of the DNA-binding protein heat shock factor 2 (HSF2) is up-regulated during mitosis, but the mechanism that mediates this regulation was unknown. Here we show that HSF2 interacts with the polycomb protein MEL-18, that this interaction decreases during mitosis, and that overexpression and RNA interference-mediated reduction of MEL-18 result in decreased and increased HSF2 sumoylation, respectively. Other results suggest that MEL-18 may also function to inhibit the sumoylation of other cellular proteins. The results also show that MEL-18 is able to interact with the small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) ubiquitin carrier protein (E2) enzyme UBC9 and that MEL-18 inhibits the ability of UBC9 to transfer the SUMO protein to target proteins. Together, the results in this work suggest a mechanism in which MEL-18 bound to HSF2 inhibits its sumoylation by binding to and inhibiting the activity of UBC9 enzymes in the vicinity of HSF2. These results provide an explanation for how mitotic HSF2 sumoylation is regulated and suggest that MEL-18, in contrast to the sumoylation-stimulating activities of the polycomb protein PC2, actually functions like an anti-SUMO ubiquitin-protein isopeptide ligase (E3), interacting both with HSF2 and the SUMO E2 UBC9 but acting to inhibit UBC9 activity to decrease sumoylation of a target protein, in this case that of HSF2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7464-7469
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 21 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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