Several advances were established in examining the interaction of transcriptional factors with the HLA-DRA promoter. First, hydrodynamic injection was used to demonstrate the activation of the promoter by class II transactivator in a live mouse. Second, the Oct-1 DNA-binding site in the HLA-DRA promoter is a negative element in many cells, but here we show that Oct-1 activates the promoter independently of the Oct-1-binding site. Third, the retinoblastoma (Rb) protein is required for the induction of the endogenous HLA-DRA gene, due to a poorly understood, pleiotropic effect on the Oct-1 and YY1 repressive functions at the HLA-DRA promoter. There has never been an indication that direct promoter activation, by Rb, is possible. Here, we report that the first HLA-DRA intron has an Rb-responsive element, as indicated by a transient transfection/promoter reporter assay. Finally, RFX activates a methylated version of an HLA-DRA promoter reporter construct, consistent with the role of RFX in rescuing the expression of the methylated, endogenous HLA-DRA gene. Here, we report that this RFX function is not limited to a specific RFX-binding sequence or to the HLA-DRA promoter. These advances provide bases for novel investigations into the function of the major histocompatibility class II promoter.