SUMOylation of transcription factors and chromatin proteins is in many cases a negative mark that recruits factors that repress gene expression. In this study, we determined the occupancy of Small Ubiquitin-like MOdifier (SUMO)-1 on chromatin in HeLa cells by use of chromatin affinity purification coupled with next-generation sequencing. We found SUMO-1 localization on chromatin was dynamic throughout the cell cycle. Surprisingly, we observed that from G1 through late S phase, but not during mitosis, SUMO-1 marks the chromatin just upstream of the transcription start site on many of the most active housekeeping genes, including genes encoding translation factors and ribosomal subunit proteins. Moreover, we found that SUMO-1 distribution on promoters was correlated with H3K4me3, another general chromatin activation mark. Depletion of SUMO-1 resulted in downregulation of the genes that were marked by SUMO-1 at their promoters during interphase, supporting the concept that the marking of promoters by SUMO-1 is associated with transcriptional activation of genes involved in ribosome biosynthesis and in the protein translation process.
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