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Two DNA-binding proteins discriminate between the promoters of different members of the major histocompatibility complex class II multigene family

Kobr, M.
Published in Molecular and Cellular Biology. 1990, vol. 10, no. 3, p. 965-971
Abstract The regulation of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II gene expression is a key feature of the control of normal and abnormal immune responses. In humans, class II alpha - and beta-chain genes are organized in a multigene family with three distinct subregions, HLA-DR, -DQ, and -DP. The regulation of these genes is generally coordinated, and their promoters contain highly conserved motifs, in particular the X and Y boxes. We have identified five distinct proteins that bind to specific DNA sequences within the first 145 base pairs of the HLA-DR promoter, a segment known to be functionally essential for class II gene regulation. Among these, RF-X is of special interest, since mutants affected in the regulation of MHC class II gene expression have a specific defect in RF-X binding. Unexpectedly, RF-X displays a characteristic gradient of binding affinities for the X boxes of three alpha-chain genes (DRA greater than DPA much greater than DQA). The same observation was made with recombinant RF-X. We also describe a novel factor, NF-S, which bound to the spacer region between the X and Y boxes of class II promoters. NF-S exhibited a reverse gradient of affinity compared with RF-X (DQA greater than DPA much greater than DRA). As expected, RF-X bound well to the mouse IE alpha promoter, while NF-S bound well to IA alpha. The drastic differences in the binding of RF-X and NF-S to different MHC class II promoters contrasts with the coordinate regulation of HLA-DR, -DQ, and -DP genes.
Keywords AnimalsBase SequenceBinding, CompetitiveDNA-Binding Proteins/ geneticsGene Expression RegulationHLA-D Antigens/ geneticsHumansMajor Histocompatibility ComplexMiceMolecular Sequence DataPromoter Regions, GeneticProtein BindingRegulatory Sequences, Nucleic AcidSpecies SpecificityTranscription Factors/genetics
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PMID: 2304471
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