Ubc9 overexpression and SUMO1 deficiency blunt inflammation after intestinal ischemia/reperfusion.


The intestinal epithelium constitutes a crucial defense to the potentially life-threatening effects of gut microbiota. However, due to a complex underlying vasculature, hypoperfusion and resultant tissue ischemia pose a particular risk to function and integrity of the epithelium. The small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) conjugation pathway critically regulates adaptive responses to metabolic stress and is of particular significance in the gut, as inducible knockout of the SUMO-conjugating enzyme Ubc9 results in rapid intestinal epithelial disintegration. Here we analyzed the pattern of individual SUMO isoforms in intestinal epithelium and investigated their roles in intestinal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) damage. Immunostaining revealed that epithelial SUMO2/3 expression was almost exclusively limited to crypt epithelial nuclei in unchallenged mice. However, intestinal I/R or overexpression of Ubc9 caused a remarkable enhancement of epithelial SUMO2/3 staining along the crypt-villus axis. Unexpectedly, a similar pattern was found in SUMO1 knockout mice. Ubc9 transgenic mice, but also SUMO1 knockout mice were protected from I/R injury as evidenced by better preserved barrier function and blunted inflammatory responses. PCR array analysis of microdissected villus-tip epithelia revealed a specific epithelial contribution to reduced inflammatory responses in Ubc9 transgenic mice, as key chemotactic signaling molecules such as IL17A were significantly downregulated. Together, our data indicate a critical role particularly of the SUMO2/3 isoforms in modulating responses to I/R and provide the first evidence that SUMO1 deletion activates a compensatory process that protects from ischemic damage.





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Publication Info

Karhausen, Jörn, Joshua D Bernstock, Kory R Johnson, Huaxin Sheng, Qing Ma, Yuntian Shen, Wei Yang, John M Hallenbeck, et al. (2018). Ubc9 overexpression and SUMO1 deficiency blunt inflammation after intestinal ischemia/reperfusion. Laboratory investigation; a journal of technical methods and pathology, 98(6). pp. 799–813. 10.1038/s41374-018-0035-6 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/23251.

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Huaxin Sheng

Associate Professor in Anesthesiology

We have successfully developed various rodent models of brain and spinal cord injuries in our lab, such as focal cerebral ischemia, global cerebral ischemia, head trauma, subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracerebral hemorrhage, spinal cord ischemia and compression injury. We also established cardiac arrest and hemorrhagic shock models for studying multiple organ dysfunction.  Our current studies focus on two projects. One is to examine the efficacy of catalytic antioxidant in treating cerebral ischemia and the other is to examine the efficacy of post-conditioning on outcome of subarachnoid hemorrhage induced cognitive dysfunction.


Wei Yang

Professor in Anesthesiology

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