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Genes Dev. 1990 Sep;4(9):1528-40.

MHC class II regulatory factor RFX has a novel DNA-binding domain and a functionally independent dimerization domain.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Geneva Medical School, Switzerland.

Abstract

The regulation of MHC class II gene expression controls T-cell activation and, hence, the immune response. Among the nuclear factors observed to bind to conserved DNA sequences in human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II gene promoters, RFX is of special interest: Its binding is defective in congenital HLA class II deficiency, a disease of class II gene regulation. The cloning of an RFX cDNA has allowed us to show by transfection of a plasmid directing the synthesis of antisense RFX RNA that RFX is a class II gene regulatory factor. RFX is a novel 979-amino-acid DNA-binding protein that contains three structurally and functionally separate domains. The 91-amino-acid DNA-binding domain is distinct from other known DNA-binding motifs but may be distantly related to the helix-loop-helix motif. The most striking property of RFX is that it can bind stably to the class II X box as either a monomer or a homodimer and that the domain responsible for dimerization is distant from and functionally independent of the DNA-binding domain. This distinguishes RFX from other known dimeric DNA-binding proteins. It also implies that an RFX homodimer has two potential DNA-binding sites. We therefore speculate that RFX could form a DNA loop by cross-linking the two X-box sequences found far apart upstream of MHC class II genes.

PMID:
2253877
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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