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Mol Cell Biol. 2018 Nov 28;38(24). pii: e00296-18. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00296-18. Print 2018 Dec 15.

Mediator Is Essential for Small Nuclear and Nucleolar RNA Transcription in Yeast.

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Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA.
Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Illkirch, France.
UMR7104, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Illkirch, France.
U964, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Illkirch, France.
Université de Strasbourg, Illkirch, France.
Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.


Eukaryotic RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) transcribes mRNA genes and non-protein-coding RNA (ncRNA) genes, including those encoding small nuclear and nucleolar RNAs (sn/snoRNAs). In metazoans, RNAPII transcription of sn/snoRNAs is facilitated by a number of specialized complexes, but no such complexes have been discovered in yeast. It has been proposed that yeast sn/snoRNA and mRNA expression relies on a set of common factors, but the extent to which regulators of mRNA genes function at yeast sn/snoRNA genes is unclear. Here, we investigated a potential role for the Mediator complex, essential for mRNA gene transcription, in sn/snoRNA gene transcription. We found that Mediator maps to sn/snoRNA gene regulatory regions and that rapid depletion of the essential structural subunit Med14 strongly reduces RNAPII and TFIIB occupancy as well as nascent transcription of sn/snoRNA genes. Deletion of Med3 and Med15, subunits of the activator-interacting Mediator tail module, does not affect Mediator recruitment to or RNAPII and TFIIB occupancy of sn/snoRNA genes. Our analyses suggest that Mediator promotes PIC formation and transcription at sn/snoRNA genes, expanding the role of this critical regulator beyond its known functions in mRNA gene transcription and demonstrating further mechanistic similarity between the transcription of mRNA and sn/snoRNA genes.


Mediator; RNA polymerase II; snRNA; snoRNA

[Available on 2019-05-28]

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