Supervisor Project : Investigation of crosstalk between SUMOylation and Ubiquitylation via novel chimeric SUMO-Ub chains.


Partner Lab

The LUMC is a university medical centre for research, education and patient care with a
high quality profile and a strong scientific orientation and ranks as the 6th best medical
research institute in Europe (Shanghai 2015). It has a unique research practice, ranging
from pure fundamental medical research to applied clinical research. This enables
LUMC to offer patient care and education that is in line with the latest international
insights and standards – and helps it to improve medicine and healthcare. The LUMC
participates in the League of European Research Universities (LERU), a strong
international network of 21 renowned research universities ( LUMC is
also a member of the Coimbra group, placing it amongst the most prestigious
universities in Europe.


Associate professor at the Leiden University Medical School Alfred Vertegaal developed an independent research line on SUMO signal transduction in 2004 in the Department of Molecular Cell Biology at the Leiden University Medical Center. He received a fellowship from the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF), innovation grants from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and a starting grant from the European Research Council (ERC).

Summary of the Project

Recently, we have identified unexpected chimeric chain formation between SUMO-2 and Ub. We found that Ub can be SUMOylated at lysines 6, 11, 27, 48 and 63. The functions of these chimeric SUMO-Ub chains are currently unknown. To shed light on these chimeric chains, we aim to identify receptors with a preference for these chimeric chains. To this end, biotinylated chimeric chains will be generated, incubated with cell lysates, purified and binding proteins will be identified using our Q Exactive Orbitrap. These receptors are expected to have closely spaced SUMO Interaction Motifs and Ub binding domains to enable preferential binding to the chimeric SUMO-Ub chains. Mutagenesis studies will be performed to study the functional relevance of these binding domains for the identified receptors.