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Regulation and deregulation of MHC class II genes

English title Regulation and deregulation of MHC class II genes
Applicant Reith Walter
Number 105895
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Dépt Microbiologie et Médecine Moléculaire Faculté de Médecine Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Immunology, Immunopathology
Start/End 01.01.2005 - 31.12.2009
Approved amount 1'258'094.00
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Keywords (5)

Immunology; Regulation of gene expression; molecular immunology; Major Histocompatibility Complex class II genes; antigen presentation

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Major Histocompatibility Complex class II (MHCII) molecules play central roles in the vertebrate immune system because they present antigens to helper (CD4+) T lymphocytes. The recognition of MHCII-antigen complexes by CD4+ T cells is essential for both the development of these cells and for their ability to initiate and regulate antigen specific immune responses directed against pathogens and tumors. Furthermore, the aberrant recognition of self-antigens presented by MHCII molecules makes a major contribution to the development of autoimmune diseases. Given these pivotal functions, we are pursuing a longstanding interest in the regulation of MHCII expression and function. Our ongoing studies are concentrating on the following aspects of this subject. First, we are characterizing in detail the molecular mechanisms that regulate the expression of MHCII genes in various key cell types of the immune system in humans and mice. Second, we are identifying other human and mouse genes that are co-regulated with MHCII genes, and are studying the function of these genes in antigen presentation processes. Third, we are exploiting the knowledge that we have acquired to alter MHCII expression in specific cell types in genetically modified mice. Finally, we are using these mice to study the role of MHCII-mediated antigen presentation in various mouse models of human diseases. Taken together, the results obtained during the course of our work will further our understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate MHCII-mediated antigen presentation in healthy individuals and shed new light on the deregulation of these mechanisms during the course of disease.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
121418 Ultra High Throughput sequencing platform for functional genome analysis 01.08.2008 R'EQUIP
128666 Gamma Irradiator for Research in Immunology, Infectious Diseases, Stem Cell Biology, and Neurobiology 01.12.2009 R'EQUIP
56991 Regulation and dysregulation of MHC class II genes 01.01.2000 Project funding (Div. I-III)
127255 Regulation of MHC class II expression and antigen presenting cell function 01.01.2010 Project funding (Div. I-III)