Small ubiquitin-like modifier conjugation regulates nuclear export of TEL, a putative tumor suppressor.

  • Wood LD, Irvin BJ, Nucifora G, Luce KS, Hiebert SW. Small ubiquitin-like modifier conjugation regulates nuclear export of TEL, a putative tumor suppressor. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2003 Mar 18;100(6). 3257-62. PMID: 12626745 [PubMed]. PMCID: PMC152279.

Abstract 

Posttranslational modification by small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) conjugation regulates the subnuclear localization of several proteins; however, SUMO modification has not been directly linked to nuclear export. The ETS (E-Twenty-Six) family member TEL (ETV6) is a transcriptional repressor that can inhibit Ras-dependent colony growth in soft agar and induce cellular aggregation of Ras-transformed cells. TEL is frequently disrupted by chromosomal translocations such as the t(12;21), which is associated with nearly one-fourth of pediatric B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In the vast majority of t(12;21)-containing cases, the second allele of TEL is deleted, suggesting that inactivation of TEL contributes to the disease. Although TEL functions in the nucleus as a DNA-binding transcriptional repressor, it has also been detected in the cytoplasm. Here we demonstrate that TEL is actively exported from the nucleus in a leptomycin B-sensitive manner. TEL is posttranslationally modified by sumoylation at lysine 99 within a highly conserved domain (the "pointed" domain). Mutation of the sumo-acceptor lysine or mutations within the pointed domain that affect sumoylation impair nuclear export of TEL. Mutation of lysine 99 also results in an increase in TEL transcriptional repression, presumably because of decreased nuclear export. We propose that the ability of TEL to repress transcription and suppress growth is regulated by sumoylation and nuclear export.