Localization and characterization of the RNA binding protein TLS in skin and stratified mucosa
Translocated in liposarcoma (TLS), a member of the Ewing's sarcoma family of RNA binding proteins, is targeted to the product of RNA POL II and functions in nuclear events as well as in nuclear-cytoplasmic transport of mRNA. It has been most extensively studied in cell lines, but was identified in several rat tissues by northern blot analysis, with adipose tissue showing the highest expression followed by whole skin. This paper describes a protein with amino acid sequence homology to TLS that was isolated from bovine tongue epithelium using an affinity column made with an antibody to the cornified envelope precursor sciellin. Using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction technology and total RNA isolated from bovine tongue epithelium, a cDNA was obtained whose nucleotide sequence coded for a protein homologous to human TLS. Nuclear staining in all layers of human epidermis and bovine stratified epithelium was observed with an antibody to TLS, whereas peripheral staining of the upper layers of these tissues was observed with the antibody to sciellin. Cultured cells gave similar results; however, adult tissue required boiling in citrate buffer to unmask antigenic sites before reacting with the TLS antibody. Western blots of extracts of human and bovine keratinocytes using TLS and sciellin antibodies showed that the two proteins shared at least one epitope, but that they were different. TLS was lost from the nucleus following inhibition of RNA POL II activity and the protein was identified in CNBr extracts of purified keratinocytes cornified envelopes by western blot. These results clearly indicate that TLS functions as an RNA binding protein in keratinocytes in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore the sequestration of TLS to the cell envelope may play a role in regulating its nuclear-cytoplasmic transport and effect its role in transcription.