Raji, a human B lymphoma line, expresses high levels of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II antigens. Conversely, none of the detectable human Ia antigens is present in RJ 2.2.5, an immunoselected Raji variant. Clonal analysis, biochemical characterization, and nucleic acid hybridization studies of hybrids between mouse spleen cells and RJ 2.2.5 show that MHC class II gene expression is regulated in trans by a factor which, as judged by dominance studies, has the characteristics of an activator. Such a positive trans acting factor is expressed in mouse spleen cells, and is able to implement MHC class II gene expression across species boundaries. Expression of this factor in spleen cells strongly suggests that it plays a role in in vivo regulation of Ia expression. Additional data suggest that different subsets of class II genes such as DR and DQ may, in part, be regulated by different mechanisms. It has also been possible to show that the amount of In chain-specific mRNA, present at reduced levels in RJ 2.2.5 cells compared to the parental Raji cells, drastically increased in human X mouse cells hybrids reexpressing human Ia antigens, suggesting that the In chain gene and the class II genes, although located on different chromosomes, are regulated in a concerted fashion, either directly through the same implementing factor, or indirectly through a cascade mechanism.

This content is only available as a PDF.