Regulation of transcription factors by sumoylation

Transcription. 2017 Aug 8;8(4):220-231. doi: 10.1080/21541264.2017.1311829. Epub 2017 Apr 5.


Transcription factors (TFs) are among the most frequently detected targets of sumoylation, and effects of the modification have been studied for about 200 individual TFs to date. TF sumoylation is most often associated with reduced target gene expression, which can be mediated by enhanced interactions with corepressors or by interference with protein modifications that promote transcription. However, recent studies show that sumoylation also regulates gene expression by controlling the levels of TFs that are associated with chromatin. SUMO can mediate this by modulating TF DNA-binding activity, promoting clearance of TFs from chromatin, or indirectly, by influencing TF abundance or localization.

Keywords: SUMO; activator; repressor; sumoylation; transcription; transcription factor.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • DNA / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Small Ubiquitin-Related Modifier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Sumoylation
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Chromatin
  • Small Ubiquitin-Related Modifier Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • DNA