A SUMO-targeted ubiquitin ligase is involved in the degradation of the nuclear pool of the SUMO E3 ligase Siz1

Oliver Kerscher, College of William and Mary
Jason W. Westerbeck, College of William and Mary
Nagesh Pasupala, College of William and Mary
Mark Guillotte, College of William and Mary
Eva Szymanski, College of William and Mary
Brooke C. Matson, College of William and Mary
Cecilia Esteban, College of William and Mary


The Slx5/Slx8 heterodimer constitutes a SUMO-targeted ubiquitin ligase (STUbL) with an important role in SUMO-targeted degradation and SUMO-dependent signaling. This STUbL relies on SUMO-interacting motifs in Slx5 to aid in substrate targeting and carboxy-terminal RING domains in both Slx5 and Slx8 for substrate ubiquitylation. In budding yeast cells, Slx5 resides in the nucleus, forms distinct foci, and can associate with double-stranded DNA breaks. However, it remains unclear how STUbLs interact with other proteins and their substrates. To examine the targeting and functions of the Slx5/Slx8 STUbL, we constructed and analyzed truncations of the Slx5 protein. Our structure–function analysis reveals a domain of Slx5 involved in nuclear localization and in the interaction with Slx5, SUMO, Slx8, and a novel interactor, the SUMO E3 ligase Siz1. We further analyzed the functional interaction of Slx5 and Siz1 in vitro and in vivo. We found that a recombinant Siz1 fragment is an in vitro ubiquitylation target of the Slx5/Slx8 STUbL. Furthermore, slx5∆ cells accumulate phosphorylated and sumoylated adducts of Siz1 in vivo. Specifically, we show that Siz1 can be ubiquitylated in vivo and is degraded in an Slx5-dependent manner when its nuclear egress is prevented in mitosis. In conclusion, our data provide a first look into the STUbL-mediated regulation of a SUMO E3 ligase.