SUMO, a heavyweight player in plant abiotic stress responses

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2012 Oct;69(19):3269-83. doi: 10.1007/s00018-012-1094-2. Epub 2012 Aug 19.


Protein post-translational modifications diversify the proteome and install new regulatory levels that are crucial for the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. Over the last decade, the ubiquitin-like modifying peptide small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) has been shown to regulate various nuclear processes, including transcriptional control. In plants, the sumoylation pathway has been significantly implicated in the response to environmental stimuli, including heat, cold, drought, and salt stresses, modulation of abscisic acid and other hormones, and nutrient homeostasis. This review focuses on the emerging importance of SUMO in the abiotic stress response, summarizing the molecular implications of sumoylation and emphasizing how high-throughput approaches aimed at identifying the full set of SUMO targets will greatly enhance our understanding of the SUMO-abiotic stress association.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Droughts
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Small Ubiquitin-Related Modifier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Stress, Physiological*
  • Temperature


  • Small Ubiquitin-Related Modifier Proteins