Long distance control of MHC class II expression by multiple distal enhancers regulated by regulatory factor X complex and CIITA

MHC class II (MHC-II) genes are regulated by an enhanceosome complex containing two gene-specific transcription factors, regulatory factor X complex (RFX) and CIITA. These factors assemble on a strictly conserved regulatory module (S-X-X2-Y) found immediately upstream of the promoters of all classical and nonclassical MHC-II genes as well as the invariant chain (Ii) gene. To identify new targets of RFX and CIITA, we developed a computational approach based on the unique and highly constrained architecture of the composite S-Y motif. We identified six novel S'-Y' modules situated far away from the promoters of known human RFX- and CIITA-controlled genes. Four are situated at strategic positions within the MHC-II locus, and two are found within the Ii gene. These S'-Y' modules function as transcriptional enhancers, are bona fide targets of RFX and CIITA in B cells and IFN-gamma-induced cells, and induce broad domains of histone hyperacetylation. These results reveal a hitherto unexpected level of complexity involving long distance control of MHC-II expression by multiple distal regulatory elements.

Published in:
J Immunol, 173, 10, 6200-10
University of Geneva Medical School, Centre Medical Universitaire, 1 rue Michel-Servet, CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland.

 Record created 2007-12-17, last modified 2018-01-28

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