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Function of major histocompatibility complex class II promoters requires cooperative binding between factors RFX and NF-Y

Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 1994, vol. 91, no. 2, p. 554-558
Abstract Transcription of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II genes is controlled largely by the conserved promoter elements called the X and Y boxes. We show here that RFX, the X box-binding protein deficient in certain MHC class II-deficient immunodeficiency patients (CID), and the Y box-binding protein NF-Y bind cooperatively. Functional relevance of this protein-protein interaction is suggested by the fact that promoter activity correlates with cooperative binding of RFX and NF-Y rather than with binding of RFX or NF-Y alone. Stability of the RFX/NF-Y complex is affected by alterations in X-Y box spacing. These results are consistent with the fact that MHC class II promoter function is dependent on correct stereospecific alignment of the X and Y boxes. Cooperative binding involving RFX, NF-Y, and perhaps other MHC class II promoter-binding proteins may explain why the highly specific defect in binding of RFX observed in CID cells is associated in vivo with a bare promoter in which all of the cis-acting elements, including the X and Y boxes, are unoccupied.
Keywords Base SequenceBinding SitesCCAAT-Enhancer-Binding ProteinsCell LineDNA/genetics/metabolismDNA-Binding Proteins/ metabolismGenes, MHC Class IIHumansImmunologic Deficiency Syndromes/genetics/immunology/metabolismMolecular Sequence DataPhenotypePromoter Regions, GeneticTranscription Factors/ metabolismTranscription, Genetic
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Other version: http://www.pnas.org/content/91/2/554.full.pdf
PMID: 8290561
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