Microbial products, such as CpG DNA and LPS, enhance class II MHC (MHC-II) expression and Ag presentation by dendritic cells, but this effect does not occur with macrophages and is largely unexplored in B cells. Although MHC-II expression is influenced by transcriptional regulation, which is governed by class II transactivator (CIITA) in all cells, microbial products enhance MHC-II expression by dendritic cells in part by increasing MHC-II protein stability. In this study, we show that the CpG-induced increase in MHC-II expression by B lymphocytes is not due to protein stabilization or changes in CIITA expression or activity, but instead is due to increased stability of MHC-II mRNA. This CIITA-independent mechanism adds a new layer of complexity to regulation of MHC-II and may increase T cell help for B cell Ab responses to microbial or vaccine Ags.
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