Liu, Huiqing, et al. “Olig2 SUMOylation Protects against Genotoxic Damage Response by Antagonizing p53 Gene Targeting.” Cell Death & Differentiation, 2020, doi:10.1038/s41418-020-0569-1.
Posttranslational modifications of nuclear proteins, including transcription factors, nuclear receptors, and their coregulators, have attracted much attention in cancer research. Although phosphorylation of oligodendrocyte transcription factor 2 (Olig2) may contribute to the notorious resistance of gliomas to radiation and genotoxic drugs, the precise mechanisms remain elusive. We show here that in addition to phosphorylation, Olig2 is also conjugated by small ubiquitin-like modifier-1 (SUMO1) at three lysine residues K27, K76, and K112. SUMOylation is required for Olig2 to suppress p53-mediated cell cycle arrest and apoptosis induced by genotoxic damage, and to enhance resistance to temozolomide (TMZ) in glioma. Both SUMOylation and triple serine motif (TSM) phosphorylation of Olig2 are required for the antiapoptotic function. Olig2 SUMOylation enhances its genetic targeting ability, which in turn occludes p53 recruitment to Cdkn1a promoter for DNA-damage responses. Our work uncovers a SUMOylation-dependent regulatory mechanism of Olig2 in regulating cancer survival.