Covalent conjugation of the equine infectious anemia virus Gag with SUMO

Jinzhong Wang, Shuping Wen, Rui Zhao, Jing Qi, Zhao Liu, Weiwei Li, Jing An, Charles Wood, Ying Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The conjugation of small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) to the target protein, namely, SUMOylation, is involved in the regulation of many important biological events including host-pathogen interaction. Some viruses have evolved to exploit the host SUMOylation machinery to modify their own protein. Retroviral Gag protein plays critical roles in the viral life cycle. The HIV-1 p6 and the Moloney murine leukemia virus CA have been reported to be conjugated with SUMO. In this study, we report for the first time, to our knowledge, the covalent conjugation of equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) Gag with SUMO. The C-terminal p9 domain of Gag is a main target for SUMOylation and SUMO is attached to multiple sites of p9, including K30 whose mutation abolished p9 SUMOylation completely. The SUMOylation of p9, but not the p9-K30 mutant, was also detected in equine fibroblastic cells ATCC® CCL-57™. Ubc9 and its C93 residue are indispensable for the SUMOylation of p9. Using confocal microscopy, it is found that EIAV Gag localizes primarily, if not exclusively, in the cytoplasm of the cell and the co-localization of EIAV Gag with Ubc9 was observed. Our findings that EIAV Gag is SUMOylated at p9-K30, together with previous findings on the defects of p9-K30 mutant in viral DNA translocation from cytoplasm to the nucleus, suggests that SUMOylation of Gag may be involved in such functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)712-719
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 6 2017


  • EIAV
  • Gag
  • K30
  • SUMO
  • Ubc9
  • p9

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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