SUMO (small ubiquitin-related modifier) modification is known to have diverse effects on the activity of transcriptional regulators, often through alterations in their localization or interactions with other factors, and in most of the cases is associated with transcriptional repression. The DEAD-box family of RNA helicases includes a large number of proteins that are involved in various cellular processes. Several members are now known to be multifunctional and their activities are thought to be governed by interactions with other partners, which may be regulated by post-translational modifications. In the present paper, we shall briefly review recent evidence indicating that SUMO modification is important in modulating the activity of two DEAD-box proteins, p68 (Ddx5) and DP103 (Ddx20), which are known to be important transcriptional regulators.

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