The activation of gene transcription is a multistep process that is triggered by factors that recognize transcriptional enhancer sites in DNA. These factors work with co-activators to direct transcriptional initiation by the RNA polymerase II apparatus. The protein encoded by this gene is a subunit of the CRSP (cofactor required for SP1 activation) complex, which, along with TFIID, is required for efficient activation by SP1. This protein is also a component of other multisubunit complexes e.g. thyroid hormone receptor-(TR-) associated proteins which interact with TR and facilitate TR function on DNA templates in conjunction with initiation factors and cofactors.
MED26 or Transcription factor IIS (TFIIS) is a transcriptionelongation factor that increases the overall transcription rate of RNA polymerase II by reactivating transcription elongation complexes that have arrested transcription. It does this through recruiting ELL/EAF- and P-TEFb- containing complexes to promoters via a direct interaction with the N-terminal domain (NTD). The MED26 NTD also binds TFIID, and TFIID and elongation complexes interact with MED26 through overlapping binding sites.  MED26 NTD may function as a molecular switch contributing to the transition of Pol II into productive elongation.
IWS1, which is thought to function in both transcription initiation and elongation. The TFIIS N-terminal domain is a compact four-helix bundle. The hydrophobic core residues of helices 2, 3, and 4 are well conserved among TFIIS domains, although helix 1 is less conserved.
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