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Immunity. 1999 Feb;10(2):143-51.

CREB regulates MHC class II expression in a CIITA-dependent manner.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.


The X2 box of MHC class II promoters is homologous to TRE/CRE elements and is required for expression of MHC class II genes. The X2 box-specific DNA binding activity, X2BP, was purified to homogeneity, sequenced, and identified as CREB. Transient transactivation experiments showed that CREB can cooperate with CIITA to enhance activation of transcription from MHC class II promoters in a dose-dependent manner. Binding of CREB to the class II promoter in vivo was demonstrated by a chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. Additionally, ICER, a dominant inhibitor of CREB function, was found to repress class II expression. These results demonstrate that CREB binds to the X2 box in vivo and cooperates with CIITA to direct MHC class II expression.

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