The Slx5/Slx8 protein complex, a heterodimeric SUMO-targeted ubiquitin ligase, plays an important role in genomic integrity. Slx5/Slx8 is believed to interact with sumoylated proteins that reside in the nuclei of budding yeast cells. In this complex, Slx5, owing to at least two SUMO interacting motifs (SIMs), has been proposed to be the targeting subunit of the Slx8 ubiquitin ligase. However, little is known about the exact subnuclear localization and targets of Slx5/Slx8. In this study we show that Slx5, but not Slx8, forms prominent nuclear foci. The formation of these foci depends on SUMO and a SIM in Slx5. Therefore, we investigated the subnuclear localization and potential chromatin association of Slx5. Using co-localization studies in live cells and fixed chromatin, we were able to localize Slx5 to DNA damage induced foci of Rad52 and Rad9, two proteins involved in the cellular response to DNA damage. Subsequent chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) studies revealed that Slx5 is associated with HO endonuclease induced chromosome breaks. Surprisingly, real-time PCR analysis of Slx5 ChIPs revealed that the level of Slx5 at HO breaks in an slx8 deletion background is reduced about 4-fold. These results indicate that the DNA-damage targeting of Slx5/Slx8 depends on formation of the heterodimer and that this occurs at a subset of nuclear foci also containing DNA damage repair and checkpoint factors.
Cook, C. E., Hochstrasser, M., & Kerscher, O. (2009). The SUMO-targeted ubiquitin ligase subunit Slx5 resides in nuclear foci and at sites of DNA breaks. Cell Cycle, 8(7), 1080-1089.