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Trends Biochem Sci. 2010 Jun;35(6):315-22. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2010.02.004. Epub 2010 Mar 17.

The human Mediator complex: a versatile, genome-wide regulator of transcription.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA.


The Mediator complex interacts extensively with the RNA polymerase II enzyme and regulates its ability to express protein-coding genes. The mechanisms by which Mediator regulates gene expression remain poorly understood, in part because the structure of Mediator and even its composition can change, depending upon the promoter context. Combined with the sheer size of the human Mediator complex (26 subunits, 1.2 MDa), this structural adaptability bestows seemingly unlimited regulatory potential within the complex. Recent efforts to understand Mediator structure and function have identified expanded roles that include control of both pre- and post-initiation events; it is also evident that Mediator performs both general and gene-specific roles to regulate gene expression.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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