Aberrant sumoylation signaling evoked by reactive oxygen species impairs protective function of Prdx6 by destabilization and repression of its transcription

Bhavana Chhunchha, Nigar Fatma, Eri Kubo, Dhirendra P. Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Loss of the cytoprotective protein peroxiredoxin 6 (Prdx6) in cells that are aging or under oxidative stress is known to be linked to the pathobiology of many age-related diseases. However, the mechanism by which Prdx6 activity goes awry is largely unknown. Using Prdx6-deficient (Prdx6-/-) cells as a model for aging or redox active cells, human/mouse lens epithelial cells (LECs) facing oxidative stress and aging lenses, we found a significant increase in the levels of small ubiquitin-like modifier (Sumo)1 conjugates. These cells displayed increased levels of Sumo1 and reduced the expression of Prdx6. Specifically, we observed that Prdx6 is a target for aberrant sumoylation signaling, and that Sumo1 modification reduces its cellular abundance. LECs overexpressing Sumo1 showed reduced expression and activity of Prdx6 and its transactivator specificity protein 1 (Sp1), mRNA and protein with increased levels of reactive oxygen species; those cells were vulnerable to oxidative stress-induced cell death. A significant reduction in Prdx6, Sp1 protein and mRNA expression was observed in redox active Prdx6-/- cells and in aging lenses/LECs. The reduction was correlated with increased expression of Sumo1 and enrichment of the inactive form (dimeric) of Sumo-specific protease (Senp)1. Experiments with Sumo1-fused Prdx6 and Prdx6 promoter-linked to chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter gene constructs indicated that Sumo1 dysregulated Prdx6 activity by reducing its abundance and attenuating its transcription; in contrast, the delivery of Senp1 or Prdx6 reversed the process. The data show that reactive oxygen species-evoked aberrant sumoylation signaling affects Prdx6 activity by reducing Prdx6 abundance, as well as transcription. The findings of the present study may provide a foundation for a strategy to repair deleterious oxidative signaling generated by a reduced activity of Prdx6.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3357-3381
Number of pages25
JournalFEBS Journal
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 2014



  • Prdx6
  • Senp1
  • Sumo1
  • cell survival
  • oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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