Expression of MHC II genes.

Department of Medicine, Rosalind Russell Medical Research Center, University of California, San Francisco 94143, USA.
Current topics in microbiology and immunology (Impact Factor: 3.47). 02/2005; 290:147-70.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Innate and adaptive immunity are connected via antigen processing and presentation (APP), which results in the presentation of antigenic peptides to T cells in the complex with the major histocompatibility (MHC) determinants. MHC class II (MHC II) determinants present antigens to CD4+ T cells, which are the main regulators of the immune response. Their genes are transcribed from compact promoters that form first the MHC II enhanceosome, which contains DNA-bound activators and then the MHC II transcriptosome with the addition of the class II transactivator (CIITA). CIITA is the master regulator of MHC II transcription. It is expressed constitutively in dendritic cells (DC) and mature B cells and is inducible in most other cell types. Three isoforms of CIITA exist, depending on cell type and inducing signals. CIITA is regulated at the levels of transcription and post-translational modifications, which are still not very clear. Inappropriate immune responses are found in several diseases, including cancer and autoimmunity. Since CIITA regulates the expression of MHC II genes, it is involved directly in the regulation of the immune response. The knowledge of CIITA will facilitate the manipulation of the immune response and might contribute to the treatment of these diseases.

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