The mammalian Mediator complex and its role in transcriptional regulation

Trends Biochem Sci. 2005 May;30(5):250-5. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2005.03.002.


Mediator is an essential component of the RNA polymerase II general transcriptional machinery and plays a crucial part in the activation and repression of eukaryotic mRNA synthesis. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae Mediator was the first to be defined and is a high molecular mass complex composed of >20 distinct subunits that performs multiple activities in transcription. Recent studies have defined the subunit composition and associated activities of mammalian Mediator, and revealed a striking evolutionary conservation of Mediator structure and function from yeast to man.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Protein Subunits / genetics
  • Protein Subunits / metabolism*
  • RNA Polymerase II / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Protein Subunits
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • RNA Polymerase II