Ph.D. National Tsing Hua University
Postdoc Assoc. Yale University
The multifunctional RNA recognition motif-containing protein Y14/RBM8A participates in mRNA metabolism and is essential for efficient repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Y14 contains highly charged, low-complexity sequences in both the N- and C-terminal domains. The feature of charge segregation suggests that Y14 may undergo liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS). Recombinant Y14 formed phase-separated droplets, which were sensitive to pH and salt concentration. Domain mapping suggested that LLPS of Y14 involves multivalent electrostatic interactions and is partly determined by the net charge of its low-complexity regions. Phospho-mimicry of the C-terminal arginine-serine dipeptides of Y14 suppressed phase separation. Moreover, RNA could phase separate into Y14 droplets and modulate Y14 LLPS in a concentration-dependent manner. Finally, the capacity of Y14 in LLPS and coacervation with RNA in vitro correlated with its activity in DSB repair. These results reveal a molecular rule for LLPS of Y14 in vitro and an implication for its co-condensation with RNA in genome stability.