Breaking up with a kinky SUMO

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Ubiquitin-like protein (Ubl)-specific proteases catalyze Ubl precursor processing and deconjugation. Two recent structural studies of SUMO-specific protease (SENP)–substrate complexes provide new insight into hydrolysis of the peptide bond at the C terminus of SUMO. A kinked, cis configuration for the scissile bond is crucial for proteolysis.

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Figure 1
Figure 2: Catalytic sites of the protease domains from productive and nonproductive SENP–substrate complexes12,13.
Figure 3: Comparison of the catalytic features of SUMO proteases8,12,13 and deubiquitinating enzymes14,15.

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