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Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Feb 27;43(4):2442-53. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkv037. Epub 2015 Jan 29.

The Mediator complex of Caenorhabditis elegans: insights into the developmental and physiological roles of a conserved transcriptional coregulator.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4, Canada Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, Child & Family Research Institute, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4, Canada.
2
Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, Child & Family Research Institute, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4, Canada Graduate Program in Cell and Developmental Biology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4, Canada.
3
Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4, Canada Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, Child & Family Research Institute, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4, Canada Graduate Program in Cell and Developmental Biology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4, Canada taubert@cmmt.ubc.ca.

Abstract

The Mediator multiprotein complex ('Mediator') is an important transcriptional coregulator that is evolutionarily conserved throughout eukaryotes. Although some Mediator subunits are essential for the transcription of all protein-coding genes, others influence the expression of only subsets of genes and participate selectively in cellular signaling pathways. Here, we review the current knowledge of Mediator subunit function in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a metazoan in which established and emerging genetic technologies facilitate the study of developmental and physiological regulation in vivo. In this nematode, unbiased genetic screens have revealed critical roles for Mediator components in core developmental pathways such as epidermal growth factor (EGF) and Wnt/β-catenin signaling. More recently, important roles for C. elegans Mediator subunits have emerged in the regulation of lipid metabolism and of systemic stress responses, engaging conserved transcription factors such as nuclear hormone receptors (NHRs). We emphasize instances where similar functions for individual Mediator subunits exist in mammals, highlighting parallels between Mediator subunit action in nematode development and in human cancer biology. We also discuss a parallel between the association of the Mediator subunit MED12 with several human disorders and the role of its C. elegans ortholog mdt-12 as a regulatory hub that interacts with numerous signaling pathways.

PMID:
25634893
PMCID:
PMC4344494
DOI:
10.1093/nar/gkv037
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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