Molecular biology of the cell

Lamin A tail modification by SUMO1 is disrupted by familial partial lipodystrophy-causing mutations.

PMID 23243001


Lamin filaments are major components of the nucleoskeleton that bind LINC complexes and many nuclear membrane proteins. The tail domain of lamin A directly binds 21 known partners, including actin, emerin, and SREBP1, but how these interactions are regulated is unknown. We report small ubiquitin-like modifier 1 (SUMO1) as a major new posttranslational modification of the lamin A tail. Two SUMO1 modification sites were identified based on in vitro SUMOylation assays and studies of Cos-7 cells. One site (K420) matches the SUMO1 target consensus; the other (K486) does not. On the basis of the position of K486 on the lamin A Ig-fold, we hypothesize the SUMO1 E2 enzyme recognizes a folded structure-dependent motif that includes residues genetically linked to familial partial lipodystrophy (FPLD). Supporting this model, SUMO1-modification of the lamin A tail is reduced by two FPLD-causing mutations, G465D and K486N, and by single mutations in acidic residues E460 and D461. These results suggest a novel mode of functional control over lamin A in cells.