SUMOylated non-canonical polycomb PRC1.6 complex as a prerequisite for recruitment of transcription factor RBPJ

Epigenetics Chromatin. 2021 Jul 31;14(1):38. doi: 10.1186/s13072-021-00412-9.


Background: Notch signaling controls cell fate decisions in many contexts during development and adult stem cell homeostasis and, when dysregulated, leads to carcinogenesis. The central transcription factor RBPJ assembles the Notch coactivator complex in the presence of Notch signaling, and represses Notch target gene expression in its absence.

Results: We identified L3MBTL2 and additional members of the non-canonical polycomb repressive PRC1.6 complex in DNA-bound RBPJ associated complexes and demonstrate that L3MBTL2 directly interacts with RBPJ. Depletion of RBPJ does not affect occupancy of PRC1.6 components at Notch target genes. Conversely, absence of L3MBTL2 reduces RBPJ occupancy at enhancers of Notch target genes. Since L3MBTL2 and additional members of the PRC1.6 are known to be SUMOylated, we investigated whether RBPJ uses SUMO-moieties as contact points. Indeed, we found that RBPJ binds to SUMO2/3 and that this interaction depends on a defined SUMO-interaction motif. Furthermore, we show that pharmacological inhibition of SUMOylation reduces RBPJ occupancy at Notch target genes.

Conclusions: We propose that the PRC1.6 complex and its conjugated SUMO-modifications provide a favorable environment for binding of RBPJ to Notch target genes.

Keywords: Epigenetics; Notch signaling; Polycomb repressive complex; RBPJ; Sumoylation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation
  • Drosophila Proteins* / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Sumoylation
  • Transcription Factors* / genetics
  • Transcription Factors* / metabolism


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Transcription Factors