Int J Biol Sci 2022; 18(11):4595-4609. doi:10.7150/ijbs.74407 This issue

Research Paper

SUMOylation of Nuclear γ-Actin by SUMO2 supports DNA Damage Repair against Myocardial Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury

Wei Zhao1,2#, Xiuying Zhang1#, Jia Zhao1, Ni Fan1, Jianhui Rong1,3✉

1. School of Chinese Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, 10 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong 999077, China.
2. Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, 253 Industrial Road, Guangzhou 51000, Guangdong Province, China.
3. Shenzhen Institute of Research and Innovation, The University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen 518000, China.
#These authors contributed equally to this work.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Zhao W, Zhang X, Zhao J, Fan N, Rong J. SUMOylation of Nuclear γ-Actin by SUMO2 supports DNA Damage Repair against Myocardial Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury. Int J Biol Sci 2022; 18(11):4595-4609. doi:10.7150/ijbs.74407. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Myocardial infarction triggers oxidative DNA damage, apoptosis and adverse cardiac remodeling in the heart. Small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) proteins mediate post-translational SUMOylation of the cardiac proteins in response to oxidative stress signals. Upregulation of isoform SUMO2 could attenuate myocardial injury via increasing protein SUMOylation. The present study aimed to discover the identity and cardioprotective activities of SUMOylated proteins. A plasmid vector for expressing N-Strep-SUMO2 protein was generated and introduced into H9c2 rat cardiomyocytes. The SUMOylated proteins were isolated with Strep-Tactin® agarose beads and identified by MALDI-TOF-MS technology. As a result, γ-actin was identified from a predominant protein band of ~42 kDa and verified by Western blotting. The roles of SUMO2 and γ-actin SUMOylation were subsequently determined in a mouse model of myocardial infarction induced by ligating left anterior descending coronary artery and H9c2 cells challenged by hypoxia-reoxygenation. In vitro lentiviral-mediated SUMO2 expression in H9c2 cells were used to explore the role of SUMOylation of γ-actin. SUMOylation of γ-actin by SUMO2 was proven to be a new cardioprotective mechanism from the following aspects: 1) SUMO2 overexpression reduced the number of TUNEL positive cells, the levels of 8-OHdG and p-γ-H2ax while promoted the nuclear deposition of γ-actin in mouse model and H9c2 cell model of myocardial infarction; 2) SUMO-2 silencing decreased the levels of nuclear γ-actin and SUMOylation while exacerbated DNA damage; 3) Mutated γ-actin (K68R/K284R) void of SUMOylation sites failed to protect cardiomyocytes against hypoxia-reoxygenation challenge. The present study suggested that SUMO2 upregulation promoted DNA damage repair and attenuated myocardial injury via increasing SUMOylation of γ-actin in the cell nucleus.

Keywords: Myocardial infarction, Ischemia-reperfusion injury, SUMOylation, SUMO2, γ-actin, DNA damage repair