In B cells, expression of CIITA and resulting major histocompatibility complex II (MHCII) is mediated exclusively by promoter III (CIITA-PIII) activation. Recent studies have established that CIITA-PIII also participates in the expression of CIITA in activated human T cells, dendritic cells, and monocytes. In this study we characterized the various regulatory elements and interacting factors of CIITA-PIII that account for specific activation in B lymphocytes. We identified 2 E-box motifs and an Ets/ISRE-consensus element (EICE) in CIITA-PIII as playing a crucial role in the B-cell-specific transcriptional regulation of CIITA. Abolishment of factor binding to these elements resulted in a strong reduction of CIITA-PIII activation in B cells only, whereas it did scarcely affect or not affect the activity of CIITA-PIII in activated T cells and monocytes. We show that in B cells, E47 and PU.1/IRF-4 interact with the E-box motifs and the EICE, respectively, and act synergistically in the activation of CIITA-PIII. Moreover, functional inhibition of either E47 or IRF-4 resulted in strong reduction of CIITA-PIII activity in B lymphocytes only. The finding that PU.1, IRF-4, and E47 play an important role in the B-cell-mediated activation of CIITA-PIII provides a link between antigen presentation functions and activation and differentiation events in B lymphocytes.