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PLoS Genet. 2008 Feb 29;4(2):e1000021. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000021.

The Mediator subunit MDT-15 confers metabolic adaptation to ingested material.

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  • 1Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America.

Abstract

In eukaryotes, RNA polymerase II (Pol(II)) dependent gene expression requires accessory factors termed transcriptional coregulators. One coregulator that universally contributes to Pol(II)-dependent transcription is the Mediator, a multisubunit complex that is targeted by many transcriptional regulatory factors. For example, the Caenorhabditis elegans Mediator subunit MDT-15 confers the regulatory actions of the sterol response element binding protein SBP-1 and the nuclear hormone receptor NHR-49 on fatty acid metabolism. Here, we demonstrate that MDT-15 displays a broader spectrum of activities, and that it integrates metabolic responses to materials ingested by C. elegans. Depletion of MDT-15 protein or mutation of the mdt-15 gene abrogated induction of specific detoxification genes in response to certain xenobiotics or heavy metals, rendering these animals hypersensitive to toxin exposure. Intriguingly, MDT-15 appeared to selectively affect stress responses related to ingestion, as MDT-15 functional defects did not abrogate other stress responses, e.g., thermotolerance. Together with our previous finding that MDT-15:NHR-49 regulatory complexes coordinate a sector of the fasting response, we propose a model whereby MDT-15 integrates several transcriptional regulatory pathways to monitor both the availability and quality of ingested materials, including nutrients and xenobiotic compounds.

PMID:
18454197
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2265483
Free PMC Article
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