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J Immunol. 1997 Oct 1;159(7):3330-7.

Cooperation of binding sites for STAT6 and NF kappa B/rel in the IL-4-induced up-regulation of the human IgE germline promoter.

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Novartis Forschungsinstitut, Vienna, Austria.


Ig heavy chain class switching is directed by cytokines inducing transcription from unrearranged CH genes. Subsequently, such primed cells can undergo switch recombination to express the selected new isotype. In the case of IgE class switching, IL-4 activates the IgE germline promoter by inducing the interaction of the transcription factor STAT6 (IL-4STAT) with a responsive DNA element in the proximal region of the promoter. This study describes the characterization of two additional cis-acting elements that interact with members of the NF kappa B/rel transcription factor family in an IL-4-independent fashion. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays show that the nucleoprotein complex formed on the upstream site (NF kappa B1) contains the classical p50/p65 heterodimer. The complex on the proximal site (NF kappa B2) appears to be composed of p50 and relB. IgE germline promoter reporter gene constructs carrying point mutations in the NF kappa B2 site were largely unresponsive to IL-4 stimulation in transient transfection experiments, while plasmids with similar mutations in the NF kappa B1 site responded to cytokine stimulation better than the wild-type promoter. The NF kappa B2 effect was dependent on the presence of the STAT6 binding site, demonstrating that the NF kappa B2 motif is necessary but not sufficient for mediating cytokine up-regulation. In addition, the combination of a NF kappa B/rel binding site and the STAT6 response element conferred IL-4 inducibility to a heterologous minimal promoter, while the individual sites had no effect. The available data suggest that the NF kappa B2 nucleoprotein complex may cooperate with DNA-bound STAT6 to achieve IL-4-dependent activation of the human IgE germline gene.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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