The Mediator complex is the major multiprotein transcriptional coactivator complex in Drosophila melanogaster. Mediator components interact with diverse sets of transcriptional activator proteins to elicit the sophisticated regulation of gene expression. The distinct phenotypes associated with certain mutations in some of the Mediator genes and the specific in vitro interactions of Mediator gene products with transcriptional activator proteins suggest the presence of activator-specific binding subunits within the Mediator complex. However, the physiological relevance of these selective in vitro interactions has not been addressed. Therefore, we analyzed dTRAP80, one of the putative activator-binding subunits of the Mediator, for specificity of binding to a number of natural transcriptional activators from Drosophila. Among the group of activator proteins that requires the Mediator complex for transcriptional activation, only a subset of these proteins interacted with dTRAP80 in vitro and only these dTRAP80-interacting activators were defective for activation under dTRAP80-deficient in vivo conditions. In particular, activation of Drosophila antimicrobial peptide drosomycin gene expression by the NF-κB-like transcription factor Dif during induction of the Toll signaling pathway was dependent on the dTRAP80 module. These results, and the indirect support from the dTRAP80 artificial recruitment assay, indicate that dTRAP80 serves as a genuine activator-binding target responsible for a distinct group of activators.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology