Pat1 promotes the activation and assembly of multiple proteins during mRNA decay. After deadenylation, the Pat1/Lsm1-7 complex binds to transcripts containing oligo(A) tails, which can be modified by the addition of several terminal uridine residues. Pat1 enhances Lsm1-7 binding to the 3' end, but it is unknown how this interaction is influenced by nucleotide composition. Here we examine Pat1/Lsm1-7 binding to a series of oligoribonucleotides containing different A/U contents using recombinant purified proteins from fission yeast. We observe a positive correlation between fractional uridine content and Lsm1-7 binding affinity. Addition of Pat1 broadens RNA specificity of Lsm1-7 by enhancing binding to A-rich RNAs and increases cooperativity on all oligonucleotides tested. Consistent with increased cooperativity, Pat1 promotes multimerization of the Lsm1-7 complex, which is potentiated by RNA binding. Furthermore, the inherent ability of Pat1 to multimerize drives liquid-liquid phase separation with multivalent decapping enzyme complexes of Dcp1/Dcp2. Our results uncover how Pat1 regulates RNA binding and higher order assembly by mRNA decay factors. ### Competing Interest Statement
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