Expression of MIF and CD74 in leukemic cell lines: correlation to DR expression destiny

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Invariant chain (Ii) or CD74 is a non-polymorphic glycoprotein, which apart from its role as a chaperone dedicated to MHCII molecules, is known to be a high-affinity receptor for macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF). The present study aimed to define the roles of CD74 and MIF in the immune surveillance escape process. Towards this direction, the cell lines HL-60, Raji, K562 and primary pre-B leukemic cells were examined for expression and secretion of MIF. Flow cytometry analysis detected high levels of MIF and intracellular/membrane CD74 expression in all leukemic cells tested, while MIF secretion was shown to be inversely proportional to intracellular HLA-DR (DR) expression. In the MHCII-negative cells, IFN-γ increased MIF expression and induced its secretion in HL-60 and K562 cells, respectively. In K562 cells, CD74 (Iip33Iip35) was shown to co-precipitate with HLA-DOβ (DOβ), inhibiting thus MIF or DR binding. Induced expression of DOα in K562 (DOα-DOβ+) cells in different transfection combinations decreased MIF expression and secretion, while increasing surface DR expression. Thus, MIF could indeed be part of the antigen presentation process.

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