This article was originally published here
Mol Carcinog. 2021 Sep 24. doi: 10.1002/mc.23353. Online ahead of print.
SUMO conjugates and SUMO chains form when SUMO, a small ubiquitin-like modifier protein, is covalently linked to other cellular proteins or itself. During unperturbed growth, cells maintain balanced levels of SUMO conjugates. In contrast, eukaryotic cells that are exposed to proteotoxic and genotoxic insults mount a cytoprotective SUMO stress response (SSR). One hallmark of the SSR is a rapid and massive increase of SUMO conjugates in response to oxidative, thermal, and osmotic stress. Here, we use a recombinant fluorescent SUMO biosensor, KmUTAG-fl, to investigate differences in the SSR in a normal human prostate epithelial cell line immortalized with SV40 (PNT2) and two human prostate cancer cell lines that differ in aggressiveness and response to androgen (LNCaP and PC3). In cells that grow unperturbed, SUMO is enriched in the nuclei of all three cell lines. However, upon 30 min of exposure to ultraviolet radiation or oxidative stress, we detected significant cytosolic enrichment of SUMO as measured by KmUTAG-fl staining. This rapid enrichment in cytosolic SUMO levels was on average fivefold higher in the LNCaP and PC3 prostate cancer cell lines compared to normal immortalized PNT2 cells. Additionally, this enhanced enrichment of cytosolic SUMO was reversible as cells recovered from stress exposure. Our study validates the use of the fluorescent KmUTAG-fl SUMO biosensor to detect differences of SUMO levels and localization between normal and cancer cells and provides new evidence that cancer cells may exhibit an enhanced SSR.