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Immunity. 1997 May;6(5):591-600.

Induction of MHC class I expression by the MHC class II transactivator CIITA.

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Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Microbiology-Immunology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 27599-7295, USA.


Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-deficient cell lines were used to demonstrate that the MHC class II transactivator (CIITA) can induce surface expression of MHC class I molecules. CIITA induces the promoter of MHC class I heavy chain genes. The site alpha DNA element is the target for CIITA-induced transactivation of class I. In addition, interferon-gamma (IFNgamma)-induced MHC class I expression also requires an intact site alpha. The G3A cell line, which is defective in CIITA induction, does not induce MHC class I antigen and promoter in response to IFNgamma. Trans-dominant-negative forms of CIITA reduce class I MHC promoter function and surface antigen expression. Collectively, these data argue that CIITA has a role in class I MHC gene induction.

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