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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013 Oct 11;440(1):190-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2013.09.066. Epub 2013 Sep 20.

Selective modulation of MHC class II chaperons by a novel IFN-γ-inducible class II transactivator variant in lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan.


Class II transactivator (CIITA) plays a critical role in controlling major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II gene expression. In this study, two novel alternatively spliced variants of human interferon (IFN)-γ-inducible CIITA, one missing exon 7 (CIITAΔE7), the other with TAG inserted at exon 4/5 junction (CIITA-TAG), were identified and characterized. Both variants are naturally occurring since they are present in primary cells. Unlike CIITA-TAG, CIITAΔE7 is expressed more abundantly in lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells than in the non-transformed counterpart BEAS-2B cells following IFN-γ stimulation. Transfection experiments showed that CIITAΔE7 induced a markedly lower level of surface HLA-DR, -DP, -DQ expression than CIITA-TAG in A549 cells but not in BEAS-2B cells, although both variants elicited similar amounts of total DR, DP, and DQ proteins. This differential effect was correlated with, in A549 cells, decreased expression of Ii and HLA-DM genes, along with increased expression of HLA-DO genes. Ii and HLA-DM are chaperons assisting in HLA class II assembly, while HLA-DO functions to inhibit endosomal peptide loading and HLA class II membrane transport. These findings raise the possibility that CIITAΔE7 interacts with unknown cancer-associated factors to selectively modulate genes involved in the assembly and transport of HLA class II molecules.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Alternative splicing; Class II transactivator; Human leukocyte antigen; Lung cancer

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