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Basal transcription of class II genes requires the formation of a preinitiation complex.
They are transcribed by RNA polymerase II, include both intron and exon, and code for polypeptide.
Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) II is found on antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and functions to present exogenous proteins to CD4+ T cells. MHC II thus plays an important role in activating the immune system in response to extracellular pathogens via activation of CD4+ T cells. MHC class II molecules are differentially expressed across multiple cell-types. For example, MHC II molecules are constitutively expressed in thymic epithelial cells and antigen-presenting cells (APC's), whereas they undergo interferon-γ-mediated expression in other cell types. Central to the regulation of the complex gene-expression profile exhibited by MHC class II molecules is a single master regulatory factor known as the class II transactivator (CIITA). CIITA is a non-DNA-binding co-activator whose expression is tightly controlled by a regulatory region containing three independent promoters (pI, pIII and pIV).
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