SUMO signal transduction has been my main research topic ever since my postdoctoral project. SUMO is predominantly located in the nucleus, regulating virtually all nuclear processes. SUMO signalling is particularly important for cell cycle progression and in the DNA damage response. We are interested in the identification of critical SUMO substrates during these processes. SUMO cooperates with other post-translational modifications, including phosphorylation and ubiquitination. Blocking SUMO signalling could potentially be used in the fight against cancer.
I studied biomedical sciences at Leiden University and carried out my PhD project also in Leiden in the laboratory of Alex van der Eb in the group of Alt Zantema on oncogenic adenovirus transformation. My interest in post-translational modifications was raised during that time while working on NF-κB. Interestingly, stimuli-mediated phosphorylation of the inhibitor protein IκBα leads to ubiquitination and degradation. Subsequently, I got the chance to start working on small ubiquitin-like modifiers (SUMO) in the lab of Angus Lamond in Dundee, Scotland together with Ron Hay in St. Andrews, Scotland. The search for SUMO substrate proteins was stimulated by the powerful mass spectrometry technology developed by Matthias Mann in Odense, Denmark.
SUMO targets the APC/C to regulate transition from metaphase to anaphase.
Eifler K, Cuijpers SAG, Willemstein E, Raaijmakers JA, El Atmioui D, Ovaa H, Medema RH, Vertegaal ACO.
Nat Commun. 2018 Mar 16;9(1):1119. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03486-4.
A comprehensive compilation of SUMO proteomics.
Hendriks IA, Vertegaal AC.
Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2016 Sep;17(9):581-95. doi: 10.1038/nrm.2016.81.
Uncovering global SUMOylation signaling networks in a site-specific manner.
Hendriks IA, D'Souza RC, Yang B, Verlaan-de Vries M, Mann M, Vertegaal AC.
Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2014 Oct;21(10):927-36. doi: 10.1038/nsmb.2890.