The Mediator Complex in Plants: Structure, Phylogeny, and Expression Profiling of Representative Genes in a Dicot (Arabidopsis) and a Monocot (Rice) during Reproduction and Abiotic Stress

Department of Plant Molecular Biology, University of Delhi, Old Delhi, NCT, India
Plant physiology (Impact Factor: 6.84). 12/2011; 157(4):1609-27. DOI: 10.1104/pp.111.188300
Source: PubMed


The Mediator (Med) complex relays regulatory information from DNA-bound transcription factors to the RNA polymerase II in eukaryotes. This macromolecular unit is composed of three core subcomplexes in addition to a separable kinase module. In this study, conservation of Meds has been investigated in 16 plant species representing seven diverse groups across the plant kingdom. Using Hidden Markov Model-based conserved motif searches, we have identified all the known yeast/metazoan Med components in one or more plant groups, including the Med26 subunits, which have not been reported so far for any plant species. We also detected orthologs for the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) Med32, -33, -34, -35, -36, and -37 in all the plant groups, and in silico analysis identified the Med32 and Med33 subunits as apparent orthologs of yeast/metazoan Med2/29 and Med5/24, respectively. Consequently, the plant Med complex appears to be composed of one or more members of 34 subunits, as opposed to 25 and 30 members in yeast and metazoans, respectively. Despite low similarity in primary Med sequences between the plants and their fungal/metazoan partners, secondary structure modeling of these proteins revealed a remarkable similarity between them, supporting the conservation of Med organization across kingdoms. Phylogenetic analysis between plant, human, and yeast revealed single clade relatedness for 29 Med genes families in plants, plant Meds being closer to human than to yeast counterparts. Expression profiling of rice (Oryza sativa) and Arabidopsis Med genes reveals that Meds not only act as a basal regulator of gene expression but may also have specific roles in plant development and under abiotic stress conditions.

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Available from: Saloni Mathur, May 19, 2014
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    • "In addition, the number of Mediator subunits differs between organisms, from 25 in yeast to 29 and 34 in humans and plants, respectively. The higher number of subunits in higher eukaryotes is likely related to the increased complexity of transcription regulation in multicellular organisms [2], [12]–[15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Mediator is an evolutionary conserved multi-protein complex present in all eukaryotes. It functions as a transcriptional co-regulator by conveying signals from activators and repressors to the RNA polymerase II transcription machinery. The Arabidopsis thaliana Med25 (aMed25) ACtivation Interaction Domain (ACID) interacts with the Dreb2a activator which is involved in plant stress response pathways, while Human Med25-ACID (hMed25) interacts with the herpes simplex virus VP16 activator. Despite low sequence similarity, hMed25-ACID also interacts with the plant-specific Dreb2a transcriptional activator protein. We have used GST pull-down-, surface plasmon resonance-, isothermal titration calorimetry and NMR chemical shift experiments to characterize interactions between Dreb2a and VP16, with the hMed25 and aMed25-ACIDs. We found that VP16 interacts with aMed25-ACID with similar affinity as with hMed25-ACID and that the binding surface on aMed25-ACID overlaps with the binding site for Dreb2a. We also show that the Dreb2a interaction region in hMed25-ACID overlaps with the earlier reported VP16 binding site. In addition, we show that hMed25-ACID/Dreb2a and aMed25-ACID/Dreb2a display similar binding affinities but different binding energetics. Our results therefore indicate that interaction between transcriptional regulators and their target proteins in Mediator are less dependent on the primary sequences in the interaction domains but that these domains fold into similar structures upon interaction.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Our current understanding of yeast and human Mediator is the result of almost 20 years of research; however, very low sequence similarity (Bourbon, 2008) delayed the bioinformatic identification of Mediator subunit homologs from plants (Kidd et al., 2011), an issue that was only resolved by the biochemical identification of the plant Mediator complex (Bäckström et al., 2007). The plant Mediator complex is estimated to be composed of in the region of 34 protein subunits (Mathur et al., 2011). Developmental aberrations have been reported previously for Arabidopsis mutants in a number of genes subsequently identified as encoding Mediator subunits. "
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    ABSTRACT: The Mediator16 (MED16; formerly termed SENSITIVE TO FREEZING6 [SFR6]) subunit of the plant Mediator transcriptional coactivator complex regulates cold-responsive gene expression in Arabidopsis thaliana, acting downstream of the C-repeat binding factor (CBF) transcription factors to recruit the core Mediator complex to cold-regulated genes. Here, we use loss-of-function mutants to show that RNA polymerase II recruitment to CBF-responsive cold-regulated genes requires MED16, MED2, and MED14 subunits. Transcription of genes known to be regulated via CBFs binding to the C-repeat motif/drought-responsive element promoter motif requires all three Mediator subunits, as does cold acclimation-induced freezing tolerance. In addition, these three subunits are required for low temperature-induced expression of some other, but not all, cold-responsive genes, including genes that are not known targets of CBFs. Genes inducible by darkness also required MED16 but required a different combination of Mediator subunits for their expression than the genes induced by cold. Together, our data illustrate that plants control transcription of specific genes through the action of subsets of Mediator subunits; the specific combination defined by the nature of the stimulus but also by the identity of the gene induced.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · The Plant Cell
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    • "Mutational studies on plant KIX containing proteins have revealed multiple developmental and phenotypic defects, and transcriptome analyses have suggested important roles for these domains in development (leaf maturation and floral transition) and stress responses (abiotic), in both monocot and dicots (20,99,100). Further, bioinformatics analyses have suggested a marked structural conservation of KIX domains in multiple paralogs of rice and Arabidopsis CBP/HAC proteins and MED15 subunits when compared with mouse CBP, yeast Gal11 KIX and human ARC105 KIX domains (21,95). Very recently, we performed an hidden markov model based identification of KIX domains from these two plants that revealed 11 proteins containing KIX domains each in rice and Arabidopsis, expanding the previously known repertoire. "
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    ABSTRACT: The kinase-inducible domain interacting (KIX) domain is a highly conserved independently folding three-helix bundle that serves as a docking site for transcription factors, whereupon promoter activation and target specificity are achieved during gene regulation. This docking event is a harbinger of an intricate multi-protein assembly at the transcriptional apparatus and is regulated in a highly precise manner in view of the critical role it plays in multiple cellular processes. KIX domains have been characterized in transcriptional coactivators such as p300/CREB-binding protein and mediator of RNA polymerase II transcription subunit 15, and even recQ protein-like 5 helicases in various organisms. Their targets are often intrinsically disordered regions within the transactivation domains of transcription factors that attain stable secondary structure only upon complexation with KIX. In this article, we review the KIX domain in terms of its sequence and structure and present the various implications of its ability to act as a transcriptional switch, the mechanistic basis of molecular recognition by KIX, its binding specificity, target promiscuity, combinatorial potential and unique mode of regulation via allostery. We also discuss the possible roles of KIX domains in plants and hope that this review will accelerate scientific interest in KIX and pave the way for novel avenues of research on this critical domain.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Nucleic Acids Research
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