Michael J. Matunis, PhD, The John Hopkins University

Michael J. Matunis, PhD
Michael J. Matunis, PhD

Studies in the Matinus lab are focused on characterizing the enzymes, and defining the molecular mechanisms, that regulate the conjugation of SUMO to specific proteins in the cell. The lab is also working to define and characterize the molecular effects that SUMO conjugation has on the properties and functions of modified proteins. Specific projects include: (1) Understanding how the conjugation of SUMO to mitotic chromosome-associated proteins is coordinated with progression through mitosis, and understanding how SUMO conjugation regulates the segregation of sister chromatids. (2) Understanding how SUMO modification of BLM, the protein mutated in Bloom syndrome, affects its role in DNA repair and the maintenance of genome integrity. (3) Understanding how sumoylation of proteins functions to protect cells from the effects of cytotoxic stress using S. cerevisiae as a model system. Lastly, projects in the lab are also focused on characterizing the SUMO pathway in malaria-causing parasite, P. falciparum, with the goal of developing parsite-specific inhibitors of SUMO conjugation that could be used treat malaria.



  1. Zhang XD, Goeres J, Zhang H, Yen TJ, Porter AC, Matunis MJ. SUMO-2/3 modification and binding regulate the association of CENP-E with kinetochores and progression through mitosis. Mol Cell. 2008 Mar 28;29(6):729-41. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2008.01.013.