Author(s): Pahlich S, Quero L, Roschitzki B, LeemannZakaryan RP, Gehring H
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Abstract The human Ewing Sarcoma (EWS) protein belongs to the TET family of RNA-binding proteins and consists of an N-terminal transcriptional activation domain (EAD) and a C-terminal RNA-binding domain (RBD), which is extensively methylated at arginine residues. This multifunctional protein acts in transcriptional co-activation, DNA-recombination, -pairing and -repair, in splicing, and mRNA transport. The role of arginine methylation in these processes as well as the time and place of methylation within cells is still unclear. In this study, we show that methylation of recombinant EWS protein in HEK cells occurs immediately after or even during translation. Pull-down experiments with recombinant EWS protein as bait, followed by mass spectrometric analysis identified more than 30 interacting proteins independent of whether the EWS protein was methylated or not. The EWS protein interacts via its RBD with RNase-sensitive protein complexes consisting of mainly heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs) and RNA helicases. HnRNP M and U, the RNA-helicases p68 and p72, but also actin and tubulin were found to interact directly with the EWS protein. Co-precipitation experiments with recombinant proteins confirmed the interaction of the EWS protein with p68 via its RBD. Colocalization of the EWS protein and the RNA-helicases in the nucleus of HEK cells was visualized by expressing labeled EWS protein and p68 or p72. When co-expressed, the labeled proteins relocated from the nucleoplasm to nucleolar capping structures. As arginine methylation within the RBD of the EWS protein are neither needed for its subcellular localization nor for its protein-protein interaction, a role of EWS protein methylation in RNA-binding and affecting the activation/repression activity or even in the stabilization of the EWS protein seems very likely.
This article was published in J Proteome Res
and referenced in Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics