EWSR1 nuclear organization 1 EWSR1’s visual modalities are defined by its association with nucleic acids and RNA polymerase II
Soumya Sundara Rajan, Vernon J. Ebegboni, Patricio Pichling, Katelyn R. Ludwig, Tamara L. Jones, Raj Chari, Andy Tran, Michael J. Kruhlak, Jadranka Loncarek, Natasha J. Caplen
EWSR1, FET proteins, nucleoplasmic organization
We report systematic analysis of endogenous EWSR1’s cellular organization. We demonstrate that EWSR1, which contains low complexity and nucleic acid binding domains, is present in cells in faster and slower-recovering fractions, indicative of a protein undergoing both rapid exchange and longer-term interactions. The employment of complementary high-resolution imaging approaches shows EWSR1 exists in in two visual modalities, a distributed state which is present throughout the nucleoplasm, and a concentrated state consistent with the formation of foci. Both EWSR1 visual modalities localize with nascent RNA. EWSR1 foci concentrate in regions of euchromatin, adjacent to protein markers of transcriptional activation, and significantly colocalize with phosphorylated RNA polymerase II. Interestingly, EWSR1 and FUS, another FET protein, exhibit distinct spatial organizations. Our results contribute to bridging the gap between our understanding of the biophysical and biochemical properties of FET proteins, including EWSR1, their functions as transcriptional regulators, and the participation of these proteins in tumorigenesis and neurodegenerative disease.