Although the majority of SUMO substrates are localized in the nucleus, SUMOylation is not limited to nuclear proteins and can be also detected in extra-nuclear proteins. In this review, we will highlight and discuss how SUMOylation in different cellular compartments regulate biological processes. First, we will discuss the key role of SUMOylation of proteins in the extra-nuclear compartment in cardiomyocytes, which is overwhelmingly cardio-protective. On the other hand, SUMOylation of nuclear proteins is generally detrimental to the cardiac function mainly because of the trans-repressive nature of SUMOylation on many transcription factors. We will also discuss the potential role of SUMOylation in epigenetic regulation. In this review, we will propose a new concept that shuttling of SUMO proteases between the nuclear and extra-nuclear compartments without changing their enzymatic activity regulates the extent of SUMOylation in these compartments and determines the response and fate of cardiomyocytes after cardiac insults. Approaches focused specifically to inhibit this shuttling in cardiomyocytes will be necessary to understand the whole picture of SUMOylation and its pathophysiological consequences in the heart, especially after cardiac insults. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Genetic and epigenetic control of heart failure - edited by Jun Ren & Megan Yingmei Zhang.
- Journal Article