American Society for Microbiology

Sumo-1 function is dispensable in normal mouse development


To elucidate SUMO-1 functions in vivo, we targeted by homologous recombination the last three exons of the murine Sumo-1 gene. Sumo-1 mRNA abundance was reduced to one-half in heterozygotes and was undetectable in Sumo-1–/– mice, and SUMO-1-conjugated RanGAP1 was detectable in wild-type mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) but not in Sumo-1–/– MEFs, indicating that gene targeting yielded Sumo-1-null mice. Sumo-1 mRNA is expressed in all tissues of wild-type mice, and its abundance is highest in the testis, brain, lungs, and spleen. Sumo-2 and Sumo-3 mRNAs are also expressed in all tissues, but their abundance was not upregulated in Sumo-1-null mice. The development and function of testis are normal in the absence of Sumo-1, and Sumo-1–/– mice of both sexes are viable and fertile. In contrast to a previous report (F. S. Alkuraya et al., Science 313:1751, 2006), we did not observe embryonic or early postnatal demise of Sumo-1-targeted mice; genotypes of embryos and 21-day-old mice were of predicted Mendelian ratios, and there was no defect in lip and palate development in Sumo-1+/– or Sumo-1–/– embryos. The ability of Sumo-1–/– MEFs to differentiate into adipocyte was not different from that of wild-type MEFs. Collectively, our results support the notion that most, if not all, SUMO-1 functions are compensated for in vivo by SUMO-2 and SUMO-3.

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