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Nat Immunol. 2000 Dec;1(6):526-32.

BLIMP-I mediates extinction of major histocompatibility class II transactivator expression in plasma cells.

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Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


Class II transactivator (CIITA), a coactivator required for class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) transcription, is expressed in B cells but extinguished in plasma cells. This report identifies B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein I (BLIMP-I), a transcriptional repressor that is capable of triggering plasma cell differentiation, as a developmentally regulated repressor of CIITA transcription. BLIMP-I represses the B cell-specific promoter of the human gene that encodes CIITA (MHC2TA) in a binding site-dependent manner. Decreased CIITA correlates with increased BLIMP-I during plasma cell differentiation in cultured cells. Ectopic expression of BLIMP-I represses endogenous mRNA for CIITA and the CIITA targets, class II MHC, invariant chain and H2-DM (the murine equivalent of HLA-DM) in primary splenic B cells as well as 18-81 pre-B cells. Thus, the BLIMP-I program of B cell differentiation includes loss of antigen presentation via extinction of CIITA expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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