Transcriptional regulation of the invariant chain associated with MHC class II molecules

Cathy Lynne Barr, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


The invariant chain associated with the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules is a non-polymorphic glycoprotein implicated in antigen processing and class II molecule intracellular transport. Class II molecules and invariant chain (In) are expressed primarily by B lymphocytes and antigen-presenting cells such as macrophages and can be induced by interferon gamma (IFN-$\gamma$) in a variety of cell types such as endothelial cells, fibroblasts, and astrocytes. In this study the cis-acting sequences involved in the constitutive, tissue-specific, and IFN-$\gamma$ induced expression of the human In gene were investigated and nuclear proteins which specifically bound these sequences were identified. To define promoter sequences involved in the regulation of the human In gene, 790 bp 5$\sp\prime$ to the initiation of transcription were subcloned upstream of the gene encoding chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT). Transfection of this construct into In expressing and non-expressing cell lines demonstrated that this 790 bp In promoter sequence conferred tissue specificity to the CAT gene. Deletion mutants were created in the promoter to identify sequences important for transcription. Three regulatory regions were identified $-$396 to $-$241, $-$241 to $-$216, and $-$216 to $-$165 bp 5$\sp\prime$ to the cap site. Transfection into a human glioblastoma cell line, U-373 MG, and treatment with IFN-$\gamma$, demonstrated that this 5$\sp\prime$ region is responsive to IFN-$\gamma$. An IFN-$\gamma$ response element was sublocalized to the region $-$120 to $-$61 bp. This region contains homology to the interferon-stimulated response element (ISRE) identified in other IFN responsive genes. IFN-$\gamma$ induces a sequence-specific DNA binding factor which binds to an oligonucleotide corresponding to $-$107 to $-$79 bp of the In promoter. This factor also binds to an oligonucleotide corresponding to $-$91 to $-$62 of the interferon-$\beta$ gene promoter, suggesting this factor may be member of the IRF-1/ISGF2, IRF-2, ICSBP family of ISRE binding proteins. A transcriptional enhancer was identified in the first intron of the In gene. This element, located in a 2.6 kb BamHI/PstI fragment, enhances the IFN-$\gamma$ response of the promoter in U-373 MG. The majority of the In enhancer activity was sublocalized to a 550 bp region $\sim$1.6 kb downstream of the In transcriptional start site.

Subject Area

Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Barr, Cathy Lynne, "Transcriptional regulation of the invariant chain associated with MHC class II molecules" (1990). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9100849.