Induction of CIITA and modification of in vivo HLA-DR promoter occupancy in normal thymic epithelial cells treated with IFN-gamma: similarities and distinctions with respect to HLA-DR-constitutive B cells.J Immunol. 1996 Jun 01; 156(11):4254-8.JI
In this study, the IFN-gamma induction of MHC class II gene expression in primary cultures of thymic epithelial cells (TEC) was analyzed. This cellular system offers the advantage that MHC class II induction is studied in a "physiologic" cell lineage that, as a result of this expression within the thymus, is thought to participate to the selection and maturation of the T cells. It was found that the MHC class II gene expression was associated with the de novo transcription of the gene encoding the CIITA trans-activator, a crucial MHC class II gene regulatory factor. Furthermore, the anatomy of interaction between the MHC class II DRA promoter and corresponding binding factors was analyzed by in vivo DNAse I footprint. It was found that treatment with IFN-gamma induces changes in the occupancy of the DRA gene regulatory sequences by nuclear factors. The resulting occupancy displays strong similarities with the one observed in the MHC class II-constitutive B cells, represented by both the Burkitt lymphoma line Raji and normal tonsil- derived B cells. However, some peculiar differences were observed between the TEC, either IFN-gamma-induced or not, and the constitutive B cells. These results suggest that both common mechanisms, such as the one mediated by the CIITA trans-activator, and distinct tissue-specific constraints contribute to the transcriptional control of constitutive and IFN-gamma-induced MHC class II gene expression.