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J Biol Chem. 2003 Dec 12;278(50):49671-4. Epub 2003 Oct 22.

A mammalian homolog of Drosophila melanogaster transcriptional coactivator intersex is a subunit of the mammalian Mediator complex.

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Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, Missouri 64110, USA.


The multiprotein Mediator complex is a coactivator required for transcriptional activation of RNA polymerase II transcribed genes by DNA binding transcription factors. We previously partially purified a Med8-containing Mediator complex from rat liver nuclei (Brower, C. S., Sato, S., Tomomori-Sato, C., Kamura, T., Pause, A., Stearman, R., Klausner, R. D., Malik, S., Lane, W. S., Sorokina, I., Roeder, R. G., Conaway, J. W., and Conaway, R. C. (2002) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 99, 10353-10358). Analysis of proteins present in the most highly enriched Mediator fractions by tandem mass spectrometry led to the identification of several new mammalian Mediator subunits, as well as several potential Mediator subunits. Here we identify one of these proteins, encoded by the previously uncharacterized AK000411 open reading frame, as a new subunit of the mammalian Mediator complex. The AK000411 protein, which we designate hIntersex (human Intersex), shares significant sequence similarity with the Drosophila melanogaster intersex protein, which has functional properties expected of a transcriptional coactivator specific for the Drosophila doublesex transactivator. In addition, we show that hIntersex assembles into a subcomplex with Mediator subunits p28b and TRFP. Taken together, our findings identify a new subunit of the mammalian Mediator and shed new light on the architecture of the mammalian Mediator complex.

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