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Int Immunol. 1995 Aug;7(8):1295-9.

The two novel MHC class II transactivators RFX5 and CIITA both control expression of HLA-DM genes.

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Department of Genetics and Microbiology, University of Geneva Medical School, C.M.U., Switzerland.


MHC-encoded HLA-DMA and -DMB molecules are atypical MHC chains that play an essential role in antigen presentation by MHC class II molecules. They resemble both MHC class I and II molecules but are not expressed at the cell surface. From the study of MHC class II regulatory mutants, it was found recently that two novel transactivators, CIITA and RFX5, are essential for the control of MHC class II gene expression. We report here that CIITA and RFX5, although operating at different levels of transcriptional control, are also both essential regulators of HLA-DMA and -DMB genes. This is true for both the constitutive and the inducible mode of DM gene expression. Indeed, both CIITA and RFX5 cDNA can correct the HLA-DMA and -DMB gene expression defect in the respective regulatory mutants. The involvement of these two transcription factors accounts for the coordinate expression of MHC class II and HLA-DM, two sets of molecules that perform quite different functions in the overall process of antigen presentation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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