SUMO1 Haploinsufficiency Leads to Cleft Lip and Palate

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Science  22 Sep 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5794, pp. 1751
DOI: 10.1126/science.1128406

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The posttranslational modification sumoylation can have multiple effects on its substrate proteins. We studied a patient with isolated cleft lip and palate and a balanced chromosomal translocation that disrupts the SUMO1 (small ubiquitin-related modifier) gene, resulting in haploinsufficiency. In mouse, we found that Sumo1 is expressed in the developing lip and palate and that a Sumo1 hypomorphic allele manifests an incompletely penetrant orofacial clefting phenotype. Products of several genes implicated in clefting are sumoylated, and the Sumo1 hypomorphic allele interacts genetically with a loss-of-function allele for one of these loci. Thus, sumoylation defines a network of genes important for palatogenesis.

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