Specific complex formation between the type II bare lymphocyte syndrome-associated transactivators CIITA and RFX5.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, 7 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
Two of the genes defective in the five complementation groups identified in the class II-negative bare lymphocyte syndrome or corresponding laboratory mutants have been cloned. One gene encodes a protein, RFX5, that is a member of the RFX family of DNA binding proteins. The other, CIITA, encodes a large protein with a defined acidic transcriptional activation domain; this protein does not interact with DNA. Expression plasmids encoding regions of RFX5 fused to the GAL4 DNA binding domain activated transcription from a reporter construct containing GAL4 sites in a cotransfection assay in the Raji human B cell line. However, these plasmids produced transcriptional activity in HeLa cells only in conjunction with interferon gamma stimulation, a condition in which expression of both CIITA and class II major histocompatibility complex surface proteins are induced. Furthermore, these plasmids were not active in RJ2.2.5, an in vitro mutagenized derivative of Raji in which both copies of CIITA are defective. Transcriptional activation by the RFX5 fusion protein could be restored in RJ2.2.5 by cotransfection with a CIITA expression plasmid. Finally, a direct interaction between RFX5 and CIITA was detected with the yeast two-hybrid and far-Western blot assays. Thus, RFX5 can activate transcription only in cooperation with CIITA. RFX5 and CIITA associate to form a complex capable of activating transcription from class II major histocompatibility complex promoters. In this complex, promoter specificity is determined by the DNA binding domain of RFX5 and the general transcription apparatus is recruited by the acidic activation domain of CIITA.
Mesh Terms:
B-Lymphocytes, Burkitt Lymphoma, Cloning, Molecular, DNA-Binding Proteins, Genes, MHC Class II, Humans, Mutagenesis, Site-Directed, Nuclear Proteins, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Recombinant Fusion Proteins, Trans-Activators, Transcription, Genetic, Transcriptional Activation, Transfection, Tumor Cells, Cultured
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. Jun. 10, 1997; 94(12);6330-4 [PUBMED:9177217]
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