NMR metabolomic profiling reveals new roles of SUMOylation in DNA damage response

Kristin E. Cano, Yi Jia Li, Yuan Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Post-translational modifications by the Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMO) family of proteins have been established as critical events in the cellular response to a wide range of DNA damaging reagents and radiation; however, the detailed mechanism of SUMOylation in DNA damage response is not well understood. In this study, we used a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy-based metabolomics approach to examine the effect of an inhibitor of SUMO-mediated protein-protein interactions on MCF7 breast cancer cell response to radiation. Metabolomics is sensitive to changes in cellular functions and thus provides complementary information to other biological studies. The peptide inhibitor (SUMO interaction motif mimic, SIM) and a control peptide were stably expressed in MCF-7 cell line. Metabolite profiles of the cell lines before and after radiation were analyzed using solution NMR methods. Various statistical methods were used to isolate significant changes. Differences in the amounts of glutamine, aspartate, malate, alanine, glutamate and NADH between the SIM-expressing and control cells suggest a role for SUMOylation in regulating mitochondrial function. This is also further verified following the metabolism of 13C-labeled glutamine. The inability of the cells expressing the SIM peptide to increase production of the antioxidants carnosine and glutathione after radiation damage suggests an important role of SUMOylation in regulating the levels of antioxidants that protect cells from free radicals and reactive oxygen species generated by radiation. This study reveals previously unknown roles of SUMOylation in DNA damage response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5382-5388
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • MCF7
  • NMR
  • SUMOylation
  • metabolomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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