Novel roles of SUMO in pancreatic β-cells: thinking outside the nucleus

Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2012 Jun;90(6):765-70. doi: 10.1139/y11-134. Epub 2012 Apr 9.


The endocrine pancreas is critically important in the regulation of energy metabolism, with defective insulin secretion from pancreatic islet β-cells a major contributing factor to the development of type 2 diabetes. Small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) proteins have been demonstrated to covalently modify a wide range of target proteins, mediating a broad range of cellular processes. While the effects of SUMOylation on β-cell gene transcription have been previously reviewed, recent reports indicate roles for SUMO outside of the nucleus. In this review we shall focus on the reported non-nuclear roles of SUMOylation in the regulation of β-cells, including SUMOylation as a novel signaling pathway in the acute regulation of insulin secretion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / genetics
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cell Nucleus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / genetics
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / physiology*
  • SUMO-1 Protein / genetics
  • SUMO-1 Protein / metabolism
  • SUMO-1 Protein / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Insulin
  • SUMO-1 Protein