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Oncogene. 1999 Sep 2;18(35):4940-7.

pRB is required for interferon-gamma-induction of the MHC class II abeta gene.

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Eye Research Institute for Canada, 399 Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5T 2S8.


pRB is required for IFN-gamma-induction of MHC class II in human tumor cell lines, providing a potential link between tumor suppressors and the immune system. However, other genes, such as cyclin D1, show pRB-dependency only in tumor cells, so by analogy, pRB may not be necessary for cII-regulation in normal cells. Here, we demonstrate that induction of the mouse MHC class II I-A heterodimer is normal in RB+/+ mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), but deficient in RB-/- MEFs. Inducibility is restored in RB-/- MEFs stably transfected with wild type RB cDNA or infected with an adenovirus expressing pRB. Thus, involvement of pRB in MHC class II expression is conserved in the mouse and is not an aberrant feature of tumorigenic, aneuploid, human tumor cells. Although cII genes are generally induced in a coordinate fashion, suggesting a common mechanism, we found that pRB was specifically required for induction of the Abeta, but not Aalpha or other MHC cII genes including Ebeta, Ii and H2-Malpha. Finally, IFN-gamma-induction of class II transactivator (CIITA), was pRB-independent, suggesting that pRB works downstream of this master-regulator of MHC class II expression.

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