MED23 Mutation Links Intellectual Disability to Dysregulation of Immediate Early Gene Expression

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Science  26 Aug 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6046, pp. 1161-1163
DOI: 10.1126/science.1206638

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MED23 is a subunit of the Mediator complex, a key regulator of protein-coding gene expression. Here, we report a missense mutation (p. R617Q) in MED23 that cosegregates with nonsyndromic autosomal recessive intellectual disability. This mutation specifically impaired the response of JUN and FOS immediate early genes (IEGs) to serum mitogens by altering the interaction between enhancer-bound transcription factors (TCF4 and ELK1, respectively) and Mediator. Transcriptional dysregulation of these genes was also observed in cells derived from patients presenting with other neurological disorders linked to mutations in other Mediator subunits or proteins interacting with MED. These findings highlight the crucial role of Mediator in brain development and functioning and suggest that altered IEG expression might be a common molecular hallmark of cognitive deficit.

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