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    Pathogenic fungi are subject to DNA damage stress derived from host immune responses during infection. Small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) modification and precursor (pre)-mRNA splicing are both involved in DNA damage response (DDR). However, the mechanisms of how SUMOylation and splicing coordinated in DDR remain largely unknown. Combining with biochemical analysis, RNA-Seq method, and biological analysis, we report that SUMO pathway participates in DDR and virulence in Fusarium graminearum, a causal agent of Fusarium head blight of cereal crops world-wide. Interestingly, a key transcription factor FgSR is SUMOylated upon DNA damage stress. SUMOylation regulates FgSR nuclear-cytoplasmic partitioning and its phosphorylation by FgMec1, and promotes its interaction with chromatin remodeling complex SWI/SNF for activating the expression of DDR-related genes. Moreover, the SWI/SNF complex was found to further recruit splicing-related NineTeen Complex, subsequently modulates pre-mRNA splicing during DDR. Our findings reveal a novel function of SUMOylation in DDR by regulating a transcription factor to orchestrate gene expression and pre-mRNA splicing to overcome DNA damage during the infection of F. graminearum, which advances the understanding of the delicate regulation of DDR by SUMOylation in pathogenic fungi, and extends the knowledge of cooperation of SUMOylation and pre-mRNA splicing in DDR in eukaryotes. © 2022 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2022 New Phytologist Foundation.


    Yunqing Jian, Xia Chen, Kewei Sun, Zunyong Liu, Danni Cheng, Jie Cao, Jianzhao Liu, Xiaofei Cheng, Liang Wu, Feng Zhang, Yuming Luo, Matthias Hahn, Zhonghua Ma, Yanni Yin. SUMOylation regulates pre-mRNA splicing to overcome DNA damage in fungi. The New phytologist. 2023 Mar;237(6):2298-2315

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    PMID: 36539920

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