The Mediator Complex: A Central Integrator of Transcription

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2015 Mar;16(3):155-66. doi: 10.1038/nrm3951. Epub 2015 Feb 18.

Abstract

The RNA polymerase II (Pol II) enzyme transcribes all protein-coding and most non-coding RNA genes and is globally regulated by Mediator - a large, conformationally flexible protein complex with a variable subunit composition (for example, a four-subunit cyclin-dependent kinase 8 module can reversibly associate with it). These biochemical characteristics are fundamentally important for Mediator's ability to control various processes that are important for transcription, including the organization of chromatin architecture and the regulation of Pol II pre-initiation, initiation, re-initiation, pausing and elongation. Although Mediator exists in all eukaryotes, a variety of Mediator functions seem to be specific to metazoans, which is indicative of more diverse regulatory requirements.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin / chemistry
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Histones / chemistry
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Leiomyoma / genetics*
  • Leiomyoma / metabolism
  • Leiomyoma / pathology
  • Mediator Complex / genetics*
  • Mediator Complex / metabolism
  • RNA Polymerase II / genetics*
  • RNA Polymerase II / metabolism
  • RNA, Untranslated / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic*
  • Uterine Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Uterine Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Uterine Neoplasms / pathology

Substances

  • Chromatin
  • Histones
  • Mediator Complex
  • RNA, Untranslated
  • Transcription Factors
  • RNA Polymerase II