Mediator complex, subunit Med21 (IPR021384)
Short name: Mediator_Med21
Overlapping homologous superfamilies
- Mediator complex, subunit Med7/Med21-like (IPR037212)
The Mediator complex is a coactivator involved in the regulated transcription of nearly all RNA polymerase II-dependent genes. Mediator functions as a bridge to convey information from gene-specific regulatory proteins to the basal RNA polymerase II transcription machinery. The Mediator complex, having a compact conformation in its free form, is recruited to promoters by direct interactions with regulatory proteins and serves for the assembly of a functional preinitiation complex with RNA polymerase II and the general transcription factors. On recruitment the Mediator complex unfolds to an extended conformation and partially surrounds RNA polymerase II, specifically interacting with the unphosphorylated form of the C-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II. The Mediator complex dissociates from the RNA polymerase II holoenzyme and stays at the promoter when transcriptional elongation begins.
The Mediator complex is composed of at least 31 subunits: MED1, MED4, MED6, MED7, MED8, MED9, MED10, MED11, MED12, MED13, MED13L, MED14, MED15, MED16, MED17, MED18, MED19, MED20, MED21, MED22, MED23, MED24, MED25, MED26, MED27, MED29, MED30, MED31, CCNC, CDK8 and CDC2L6/CDK11.
The subunits form at least three structurally distinct submodules. The head and the middle modules interact directly with RNA polymerase II, whereas the elongated tail module interacts with gene-specific regulatory proteins. Mediator containing the CDK8 module is less active than Mediator lacking this module in supporting transcriptional activation.
- The head module contains: MED6, MED8, MED11, SRB4/MED17, SRB5/MED18, ROX3/MED19, SRB2/MED20 and SRB6/MED22.
- The middle module contains: MED1, MED4, NUT1/MED5, MED7, CSE2/MED9, NUT2/MED10, SRB7/MED21 and SOH1/MED31. CSE2/MED9 interacts directly with MED4.
- The tail module contains: MED2, PGD1/MED3, RGR1/MED14, GAL11/MED15 and SIN4/MED16.
- The CDK8 module contains: MED12, MED13, CCNC and CDK8.
Individual preparations of the Mediator complex lacking one or more distinct subunits have been variously termed ARC, CRSP, DRIP, PC2, SMCC and TRAP.
Med21 has been known as Srb7 in yeasts, hSrb7 in humans and Trap 19 in Drosophila. The heterodimer of the two subunits Med7 and Med21 appears to act as a hinge between the middle and the tail regions of Mediator [PMID: 15710619].