Genetic control of MHC class II expression

Cell. 2002 Apr;109 Suppl:S21-33. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(02)00696-7.


The presentation of peptides to T cells by MHC class II molecules is of critical importance in specific recognition by the immune system. Expression of class II molecules is exquisitely controlled at the transcriptional level. A large set of proteins interact with the promoters of class II genes. The most important of these is CIITA, a master controller that orchestrates expression but does not bind directly to the promoter. The transcriptosome complex formed at class II promoters is a model for induction of gene expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Genes, MHC Class II / genetics*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / genetics
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immune System Diseases
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Nuclear Proteins*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency / immunology
  • Trans-Activators / chemistry
  • Trans-Activators / genetics
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • MHC class II transactivator protein
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • invariant chain