Summary Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) influence gene expression besides their established function in nuclear transport. The TREX-2 complex localizes to the NPC basket and affects gene-NPC interactions, transcription, and mRNA export. How TREX-2 regulates the gene expression machinery is unknown. Here, we show that TREX-2 interacts with the Mediator complex, an essential regulator of RNA Polymerase (Pol) II. Structural and biochemical studies identify a conserved region on TREX-2, which directly binds the Mediator Med31/Med7N submodule. TREX-2 regulates assembly of Mediator with the Cdk8 kinase and is required for recruitment and site-specific phosphorylation of Pol II. Transcriptome and phenotypic profiling confirm that TREX-2 and Med31 are functionally interdependent at specific genes. TREX-2 additionally uses its Mediator-interacting surface to regulate mRNA export suggesting a mechanism for coupling transcription initiation and early steps of mRNA processing. Our data provide mechanistic insight into how an NPC-associated adaptor complex accesses the core transcription machinery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)