Stein MF, Lang S, Winkler TH, Deinzer A, Erber S, Nettelbeck DM, Naschberger E, Jochmann R, Stürzl M, Slany RK, Werner T, Steinkasserer A, Knippertz I
CD83 is one of the best-known surface markers for fully mature dendritic cells (mature DCs), and its cell-type- and maturation-specific regulation makes the CD83 promoter an interesting tool for the genetic modulation of DCs. To determine the mechanisms regulating this DC- and maturation-specific CD83 expression, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-on-chip microarray, biocomputational, reporter, electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA), and ChIP analyses were performed. These studies led to the identification of a ternary transcriptional activation complex composed of an upstream regulatory element, a minimal promoter, and an enhancer, which have not been reported in this arrangement for any other gene so far. Notably, these DNA regions contain a complex framework of interferon regulatory factor (IRF)- and NF-κB transcription factor-binding sites mediating their arrangement. Mutation of any of the IRF-binding sites resulted in a significant loss of promoter activity, whereas overexpression of NF-κB transcription factors clearly enhanced transcription. We identified IRF-1, IRF-2, IRF-5, p50, p65, and cRel to be involved in regulating maturation-specific CD83 expression in DCs. Therefore, the characterization of this promoter complex not only contributes to the knowledge of DC-specific gene regulation but also suggests the involvement of a transcriptional module with binding sites separated into distinct regions in transcriptional activation as well as cell-type- and maturation-specific transcriptional targeting of DCs.