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Oncogene. 1999 Oct 21;18(43):5889-903.

Co-occupancy of the interferon regulatory element of the class II transactivator (CIITA) type IV promoter by interferon regulatory factors 1 and 2.

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Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, FL 33612, USA.


Class II transactivator (CIITA) activates the expression of major histocompatibility class II genes, which encode antigen-presenting molecules recognized by the T-cell receptor of CD4+ T cells. IFN-gamma induced CIITA transcription in many cell types is directed by the CIITA Type IV promoter. Here we report that the human CIITA Type IV promoter IRF-E binds IRF-1 and can be activated by exogenous expression of IRF-1. Surprisingly, the CIITA Type IV promoter IRF-E is also activated by IRF-2, another member of the IRF family that generally acts as a transcriptional repressor. In addition, we found that IRF-1 and IRF-2 synergistically activate the CIITA Type IV promoter. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays revealed that IRF-1 and IRF-2 can simultaneously occupy the IRF-E of the CIITA Type IV promoter, suggesting a novel mechanism for the role of these two proteins in promoter activation. Our results also indicate that IRF-1 and IRF-2 can cooperatively activate and co-occupy the IRF-E of the guanylate binding protein (GBP) promoter. Finally, CIITA induction by IFN-gamma does not occur in a pancreatic tumor cell line that expresses a mutated IRF-2, representing the first IRF-2 mutation identified in a human tumor cell line.

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