Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

SUMOylation proteins in breast cancer

Alshareeda, Alaa T.; Negm, Ola H.; Green, Andrew R.; Nolan, Christopher; Tighe, Paddy; Albarakati, Nada; Sultana, Rebeka; Madhusudan, Srinivasan; Ellis, Ian O.; Rakha, Emad A.


Alaa T. Alshareeda

Assistant Professor

Christopher Nolan

Professor of Molecular Immunology

Nada Albarakati

Rebeka Sultana

Professor of Breast Cancer Pathology


Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier proteins (or SUMO) modify the function of protein substrates involved in various cellular processes including DNA damage response (DDR). It is becoming apparent that dysregulated SUMO contribute to carcinogenesis by affecting post-transcriptional modification of key proteins. It is hypothesised that SUMO contributes to the aggressive nature of breast cancer particularly those associated with features similar to breast carcinoma arising in patients with BRCA1 germline mutations. This study aims to assess the clinical and biological significance of three members of SUMO in a well-characterised annotated series of BC with emphasis on DDR. The study cohort comprised primary operable invasive BC including tumours from patients with known BRCA1 germline mutations. SUMO proteins PIAS1, PIAS4 and UBC9 were assessed using immunohistochemistry utilising tissue microarray technology. Additionally, their expression was assessed using reverse phase protein microarray utilising different cell lines. PIAS1 and UBC9 showed cytoplasmic and/or nuclear expression while PIAS4 was detected only in the nuclei. There was a correlation between subcellular localisation and expression of the nuclear transport protein KPNA2. Tumours showing positive nuclear/negative cytoplasmic expression of SUMO featured good prognostic characteristics including lower histologic grade and had a good outcome. Strong correlation with DDR-related proteins including BRCA1, Rad51, ATM, CHK1, DNA-PK and KU70/KU80 was observed. Correlation with ER and BRCA1 was confirmed using RPPA on cell lines. SUMO proteins seem to play important role in BC. Not only expression but also subcellular location is associated with BC phenotype.


Alshareeda, A. T., Negm, O. H., Green, A. R., Nolan, C., Tighe, P., Albarakati, N., …Rakha, E. A. (2014). SUMOylation proteins in breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 144(3), 519-530.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 20, 2014
Online Publication Date Mar 1, 2014
Publication Date Apr 30, 2014
Deposit Date Oct 19, 2018
Journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
Print ISSN 0167-6806
Electronic ISSN 1573-7217
Publisher BMC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 144
Issue 3
Pages 519-530
Public URL
Publisher URL