To locate elements regulating the human CD8 gene complex, we mapped nuclear matrix attachment regions (MARs) and DNase I hypersensitive (HS) sites over a 100-kb region that included the CD8B gene, the intergenic region, and the CD8A gene. MARs facilitate long-range chromatin remodeling required for enhancer activity and have been found closely linked to several lymphoid enhancers. Within the human CD8 gene complex, we identified six DNase HS clusters, four strong MARs, and several weaker MARs. Three of the strong MARs were closely linked to two tissue-specific DNase HS clusters (III and IV) at the 3′ end of the CD8B gene. To further establish the importance of this region, we obtained 19 kb of sequence and screened for potential binding sites for the MAR-binding protein, SATB1, and for GATA-3, both of which are critical for T cell development. By gel shift analysis we identified two strong SATB1 binding sites, located 4.5 kb apart, in strong MARs. We also detected strong GATA-3 binding to an oligonucleotide containing two GATA-3 motifs located at an HS site in cluster IV. This clustering of DNase HS sites and MARs capable of binding SATB1 and GATA-3 at the 3′ end of the CD8B gene suggests that this region is an epigenetic regulator of CD8 expression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy