T-box transcription factors are crucial developmental regulators, and they have not previously been associated with SUMOylation. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the Tbx2 subfamily member TBX-2 (T-box protein 2) is required for anterior pharyngeal muscle development. TBX-2 interacts with SUMOylation pathway enzymes, and loss of these enzymes phenocopies tbx-2 mutants. We hypothesize that TBX-2 functions as a SUMOylation-dependent transcriptional repressor. TBX-2 contains two consensus SUMOylation sites conserved in many T-box transcriptional repressors, and we suggest that the function of these T-box factors may similarly involve SUMOylation.

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