Genes at the centromeric end of the human leukocyte antigen region influence adaptive autoimmune diseases and cancer. In this study, we characterized protein expression of HKE2, a gene located in the centromeric portion of the class II region of the major histocompatibility complex encoding subunit 6 of prefoldin. Immunohistochemical analysis using an anti-HKE2 antibody indicated that HKE2 protein expression is dramatically upregulated as a consequence of activation. In a tissue microarray and in several tumors, HKE2 was overexpressed in certain cancers compared with normal counterparts. The localization of the HKE2 gene to the class II region, its cytoplasmic expression and putative protein-binding domain suggest that HKE2 may function in adaptive immunity and cancer.