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Oncogene. 1998 Jun 25;16(25):3299-307.

Regulation of major histocompatibility complex class I expression by NF-kappaB-related proteins in breast cancer cells.

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Laboratory of Medical Chemistry/Medical Oncology, Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France.


Downregulation of MHC Class I antigens has been observed in many cancers and usually results from a decreased gene transcription. A reporter CAT gene dependent on the MHC Class I kappaB site or on a longer promoter is transactivated by NF-kappaB complexes containing p65 or RelB. p100 as well as IkappaB-alpha are potent inhibitors of this transcription and p100 sequesters RelB and p65 complexes in the cytoplasm of breast cancer cells. However, although p100 is highly expressed in a number of breast cancer cell lines, MHC Class I antigen expression was observed on all the cell lines we analysed and could be further induced by stimulation with the cytokines IFN-gamma or TNF-alpha. Stable transfection of a unresponsive mutated IkappaB-alpha Ser 32-36 expression vector showed that TNF-alpha induced MHC Cl I expression in an NF-kappaB-dependent way while IFN-gamma did it independently of any NF-kappaB activation.

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