Send to

Choose Destination
Immunity. 1995 May;2(5):545-53.

Human MHC class II gene transcription directed by the carboxyl terminus of CIITA, one of the defective genes in type II MHC combined immune deficiency.

Author information

Department of Cancer Biology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Type II major histocompatibility complex combined immune deficiency (type II MHC CID or bare lymphocyte syndrome) is a congenital immunodeficiency disease characterized by absent MHC class II expression. Four distinct complementation groups have been identified. Recently, the defective gene in group II type II MHC CID has been isolated and termed CIITA. Here, we demonstrate that CIITA is an MHC class II gene-specific transcription activator. The transcription activation function is provided by the N-terminal acidic domain (amino acids 26-137), which is experimentally exchangeable with a heterologous viral transcription-activating domain. The specificity of CIITA for three major MHC class II genes, DR, DQ and DP, is mediated by its remaining C-terminal residues (amino acids 317-1130). The transactivation of multiple cis elements, especially S and X2, of the DR alpha proximal promoter in group II CID cells is CIITA dependent. Since CIITA overexpression in normal cells did not increase class II expression, we propose that initiation of CIITA expression serves as the on-off switch, while availability of downstream interactor(s) limits transcription.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center