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Genome-wide CIITA-binding profile identifies sequence preferences that dictate function versus recruitment.

Scharer CD, Choi NM, Barwick BG, Majumder P, Lohsen S, Boss JM

The class II transactivator (CIITA) is essential for the expression of major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) genes; however, the role of CIITA in gene regulation outside of MHC-II biology is not fully understood. To comprehensively map CIITA-bound loci, ChIP-seq was performed in the human B lymphoblastoma cell line Raji. CIITA bound 480 sites, and was significantly enriched at active promoters and enhancers. The complexity of CIITA transcriptional regulation of target genes was analyzed using a combination of CIITA-null cells, including a novel cell line created using CRISPR/Cas9 tools. MHC-II genes and a few novel genes were regulated by CIITA; however, most other genes demonstrated either diminished or no changes in the absence of CIITA. Nearly all CIITA-bound sites were within regions containing accessible chromatin, and CIITA's presence at these sites was associated with increased histone H3K27 acetylation, suggesting that CIITA's role at these non-regulated loci may be to poise the region for subsequent regulation. Computational genome-wide modeling of the CIITA bound XY box motifs provided constraints for sequences associated with CIITA-mediated gene regulation versus binding. These data therefore define the CIITA regulome in B cells and establish sequence specificities that predict activity for an essential regulator of the adaptive immune response.


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March, 2015


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