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

Susan Kovats, Gerald T. Nepom, Marilyn Coleman, Barbara Nepom, William W. Kwok, Janice S. Blum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


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 αβ 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-223
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1995



  • HLA-DR antigen
  • disease
  • gene expression regulation
  • genes MHC class II
  • immunocompetence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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