Section on Cell Cycle Regulation
Mary Dasso, Section Head
Our studies focus on two closely linked biochemical pathways that have been implicated in both mitotic regulation and nuclear-cytoplasmic trafficking: the SUMO pathway and the Ran pathway. SUMO proteins are a family of ubiquitin-like proteins that become covalently conjugated to cellular targets. The three mammalian SUMO paralogues use common enzymes for their conjugation. In recent studies, we investigated the specificity of paralogue utilization, the changing patterns of SUMO conjugation to individual substrates during the cell cycle, and the behavior of enzymes that control SUMO conjugation and deconjugation. We are now extending our studies to understand the enzymology and specificity of particular SUMO conjugation or deconjugation events.