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J Biol Chem. 1993 Aug 15;268(23):17074-82.

The regulatory gene, hXBP-1, and its target, HLA-DRA, utilize both common and distinct regulatory elements and protein complexes.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138.


hXBP-1 is a transcription factor of the leucine zipper (b-zip) family important in the expression of the class II major histocompatibility complex gene, DRA. Studies with mouse-human hybrids have mapped hXBP-1 hybridizing fragments to human chromosomes 5 and 22 and the frequent detection of two mRNA transcripts suggested that hXBP-1 may be a member of a small gene family. To analyze the structure and regulation of hXBP-1 further, cosmid clones from both chromosomes were isolated. Mapping and sequence analyses reveal that chromosome 22 contains the functional hXBP-1 gene while chromosome 5 contains a processed pseudogene. hXBP-1 promoter analysis has revealed that cis-active elements within the 5'-untranslated region of hXBP-1 are essential for full promoter activity. One such element, hX2, is identical to the hXBP-1 target sequence in the DRA promoter. Mutagenesis of the hX2 site substantially decreases promoter activity. This element interacts with four distinct protein complexes in mature B cells and cross-competition experiments show that two of these complexes (complex 1 and complex 4) also interact with the hXBP-1 target sequence (X2) from the DRA promoter. The similarities of the hXBP-1 promoter and of the DRA promoter (the gene that the hXBP-1 protein regulates) are further emphasized by the fact that a Y box element is located 3' of both hX2 and X2.

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