FOXP3 activates SUMO-conjugating UBC9 gene in MCF7 breast cancer cells

Academic Article


  • Forkhead Box Protein P3 (FOXP3), a transcription factor of the FOX protein family, is essentially involved in the development of regulatory T (Treg) cells, and functions as a tumor suppressor. Although FOXP3 has been widely studied in immune system and cancer development, its function in the regulation of the UBC9 gene (for the sole E2 enzyme of SUMOylation) is unknown. Herein, we find that the overexpression of FOXP3 in human MCF7 breast cancer cells increases the level of UBC9 mRNA. Moreover, the level of UBC9 protein dose-dependently increases in the FOXP3-Tet-off MCF7 cells. Notably, the promoter activity of the UBC9 is activated by FOXP3 in a dose-dependent manner in both the MCF7 and HEK293 cells. Next, by mapping the UBC9 promoter as well as the site-directed mutagenesis and ChIP analysis, we show that the FOXP3 response element at the −310 bp region, but not the −2182 bp region, is mainly required for UBC9 activation by FOXP3. Finally, we demonstrate that the removal of phosphorylation (S418A and Y342F) and the removal of acetylation/ubiquitination (K263R and K263RK268R) of the FOXP3 result in attenuated transcriptional activity of UBC9. Taken together, FOXP3 acts as a novel transcriptional activator of the human UBC9 gene, suggesting that FOXP3 may have physiological functions as a novel player in global SUMOylation, as well as other post-translational modification systems.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wang CM; Yang WH; Liu R; Wang L; Yang WH
  • Volume

  • 19
  • Issue

  • 7