SUMOylation is a posttranslational process that attaches a small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) to its target proteins covalently. SUMOylation controls multiple cellular processes through the recognition of SUMO by a SUMO-interacting motif (SIM). In this study, we developed assay systems for detecting noncovalent interactions between SUMO and SIM in cells using split-luciferase complementation. We applied a version of this assay to the detection of in vitro SUMO-SIM interactions using a bacterial expression system. These novel assays enable screening of inhibitors of SUMO-dependent protein-protein interactions, either in vivo or in vitro, in a high-throughput manner.
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