Deficient antigen-presenting cell function in multiple genetic complementation groups of type II bare lymphocyte syndrome

J Clin Invest. 1995 Jul;96(1):217-23. doi: 10.1172/JCI118023.


The absence of HLA class II gene expression in type II bare lymphocyte syndrome (BLS) results from defective transcriptional activation of class II histocompatibility genes. Genetic studies have revealed that distinct defects in multiple trans-acting factors result in the immunodeficient BLS phenotype. We studied antigen-presenting cell (APC) function in DR-transfected BLS cells derived from multiple complementation groups. Each BLS cell line displayed the same defective APC phenotype: an inability to mediate class II-restricted presentation of exogenous protein antigens, and structurally altered class II alpha beta dimers. Expression of the HLA class II-like genes DMA and DMB, previously implicated in antigen presentation, was reduced or absent in the BLS cells. Fusion of BLS cells with cell line 721.174, which has a genomic deletion of HLA class II genes, coordinately restores class II structural gene and DM gene expression and a wild-type APC phenotype. Thus each of the molecular defects that silences class II structural gene transcription also results in a defective APC phenotype, providing strong evidence for coregulation of these two functionally linked pathways.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / physiology*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, MHC Class II*
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • HLA-D Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-DR Antigens / genetics
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency / genetics
  • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency / immunology*
  • Transfection


  • HLA-D Antigens
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • RNA, Messenger