RBM15 condensates modulate m6A modification of STYK1 to promote tumorigenesis

Comput Struct Biotechnol J. 2022 Sep 5;20:4825-4836. doi: 10.1016/j.csbj.2022.08.068. eCollection 2022.


RBM15 expression is recurrently upregulated in several types of malignant tissues, and its high expression level is typically associated with poor prognosis. However, whether and how RBM15 is involved in the tumor progression remains unclear. In this study, we found that overexpressing RBM15 in NIH3T3 cells was able to enhance proliferation rate in vitro and induced subcutaneous tumor formation in vivo. Moreover, we imaged the subcellular localization of RBM15 with our home-built structured illumination super-resolution microscopy, and revealed that RBM15 formed substantial condensates dispersed in the nucleus, undergoing dynamic fusion and fission activities. These condensates were partially colocalized with m6A-modified transcripts in the nucleus. In addition, we confirmed that RBM15 formed "liquid-like" droplets in a protein/salt concentration-dependent manner in vitro, and the addition of RNA further enhanced its phase-separation propensity. To identify downstream targets of RBM15, we performed meRIP-seq and RNA-seq, revealing that RBM15 preferentially bound to and promoted the m6A modification on the mRNA of Serine/threonine/tyrosine kinase 1 (STYK1), thereby enhancing its stability. The upregulated STYK1 expression caused MAPK hyperactivation, thereby leading to oncogenic transformation of NIH3T3 cells.

Keywords: N6-methyladenine modification; Phase separation; RBM15; STYK1.