Direct Interaction of RNA Polymerase II and Mediator Required for Transcription in Vivo

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Science  18 Mar 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6023, pp. 1451-1454
DOI: 10.1126/science.1200188

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Gene transcription is highly regulated. Altered transcription can lead to cancer or developmental diseases. Mediator, a multisubunit complex conserved among eukaryotes, is generally required for RNA polymerase II (Pol II) transcription. An interaction between the two complexes is known, but its molecular nature and physiological role are unclear. We identify a direct physical interaction between the Rpb3 Pol II subunit of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the essential Mediator subunit, Med17. Furthermore, we demonstrate a functional element in the Mediator–Pol II interface that is important for genome-wide Pol II recruitment in vivo. Our findings suggest that a direct interaction between Mediator and Pol II is generally required for transcription of class II genes in eukaryotes.

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