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A functionally essential domain of RFX5 mediates activation of major histocompatibility complex class II promoters by promoting cooperative binding between RFX and NF-Y

Peretti, M.
Caretti, G.
Mantovani, R.
Published in Molecular and Cellular Biology. 2000, vol. 20, no. 10, p. 3364-3376
Abstract Major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) molecules occupy a pivotal position in the adaptive immune system, and correct regulation of their expression is therefore of critical importance for the control of the immune response. Several regulatory factors essential for the transcription of MHC-II genes have been identified by elucidation of the molecular defects responsible for MHC-II deficiency, a hereditary immunodeficiency disease characterized by regulatory defects abrogating MHC-II expression. Three of these factors, RFX5, RFXAP, and RFXANK, combine to form the RFX complex, a regulatory protein that binds to the X box DNA sequence present in all MHC-II promoters. In this study we have undertaken a dissection of the structure and function of RFX5, the largest subunit of the RFX complex. The results define two distinct domains serving two different essential functions. A highly conserved N-terminal region of RFX5 is required for its association with RFXANK and RFXAP, for assembly of the RFX complex in vivo and in vitro, and for binding of this complex to its X box target site in the MHC-II promoter. This N-terminal region is, however, not sufficient for activation of MHC-II expression. This requires an additional domain within the C-terminal region of RFX5. This C-terminal domain mediates cooperative binding between the RFX complex and NF-Y, a transcription factor binding to the Y box sequence of MHC-II promoters. This provides direct evidence that RFX5-mediated cooperative binding between RFX and NF-Y plays an essential role in the transcriptional activation of MHC-II genes.
Keywords Amino Acid SequenceAnimalsB-LymphocytesCCAAT-Enhancer-Binding ProteinsConserved SequenceDNA-Binding Proteins/genetics/ metabolismGenetic Complementation TestHistocompatibility Antigens Class II/ geneticsHumansMajor Histocompatibility Complex/ geneticsMiceMice, Inbred BALB CMolecular Sequence DataPeptide Fragments/genetics/metabolismPromoter Regions, GeneticProtein BindingProtein Structure, TertiarySequence Homology, Amino AcidTranscription Factors/ metabolismTranscriptional Activation
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PMID: 10779326
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