Cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) catalyzes the first irreversible step in the transsulfuration pathway and commits the toxic metabolite, homocysteine, to the synthesis of cysteine. Mutations in CBS are the most common cause of severe hereditary hyperhomocysteinemia. The molecular basis of the organ-specific pathologies associated with CBS deficiency is unknown as is the significance of the reported interaction between CBS and Huntingtin protein. In this study, we have used the yeast two-hybrid approach to screen for proteins that interact with CBS and have identified several components of the sumoylation pathway including Ubc9, PIAS1, PIAS3, Pc2, and RanBPM. We demonstrate that CBS is modified by the small ubiquitin-like modifier-1 protein (SUMO-I) under both in vitro and in vivo conditions. Deletion analysis of CBS indicates that the C-terminal regulatory domain is required for interaction with proteins in the sumoylation machinery. Sumoylated CBS is present in the nucleus where it is associated with the nuclear scaffold. The discovery that CBS is a target of sumoylation adds another layer to the complex regulation of this enzyme and reveals a previously unknown residence for this protein, i.e., in the nucleus.
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