Identification and characterization of a gene encoding a gut-enriched Kruppel-like factor expressed during growth arrest.
ABSTRACT: A cDNA clone, named gut-enriched Krüppel-like factor (GKLF), was isolated from an NIH 3T3 library using a probe encoding the zinc finger region of the immediate-early transcription factor zif/268. The deduced GKLF amino acid sequence contains three tandem zinc fingers that are related to members of the Krüppel family of transcription factors. By indirect immunofluorescence, GKLF is localized to the cell nucleus. In cultured fibroblasts, GKLF mRNA is found in high levels in growth-arrested cells and is nearly undetectable in cells that are in the exponential phase of proliferation. The growth-arresting nature of GKLF is demonstrated by an inhibition of DNA synthesis in cells transfected with a GKLF-expressing plasmid construct. In the mouse, GKLF mRNA is present in select tissues and is most abundant in the colon, followed by the testis, lung, and small intestine. In situ hybridization experiments indicate that GKLF mRNA is enriched in epithelial cells located in the middle to upper crypt region of the colonic mucosa. Taken together, these results suggest that GKLF is potentially a negative regulator of cell growth in tissues such as the gut mucosa, where cell proliferation is intimately coupled to growth arrest and differentiation.
Project description:Gut-enriched Krüppel-like factor (GKLF) is a zinc finger-containing transcription factor, the expression of which is associated with growth arrest. We compared Gklf expression in intestinal and colonic adenomas to normal mucosa in multiple intestinal neoplasia (Min) mice and familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) patients, respectively, using semi-quantitative RT-PCR. In Min mice, the level of Gklf transcript is highest in normal-appearing intestinal tissues and decreases as the size of the adenoma increases. In FAP patients, the level of GKLF transcript is lower in adenomas compared to paired normal-appearing mucosa from the same patient or normal colonic mucosa from control individuals without FAP. The possibility of DNA methylation as a cause for the decreased expression of Gklf in adenomas of Min mice was investigated by methylation-specific PCR. Results indicate that the Gklf gene is not methylated in either normal or tumorous tissues. The findings of our study are therefore consistent with the potential role of GKLF as a negative growth regulator of gut epithelial cells.
Project description:The gut-enriched Krüppel-like factor (GKLF) is a newly identified transcription factor that contains three C2H2 Krüppel-type zinc fingers. Previous immunocytochemical studies indicate that GKLF is exclusively localized to the nucleus. To identify the nuclear localization signal (NLS) within GKLF, cDNA constructs with various deletions in the coding region of GKLF were generated and analyzed by indirect immunofluorescence in transfected COS-1 cells. In addition, constructs fusing regions representing putative NLSs of GKLF to green fluorescent protein (GFP) were generated and examined by fluorescence microscopy in similarly transfected cells. The results indicate that GKLF contains two potent, independent NLSs: one within the zinc fingers and the other in a cluster of basic amino acids (called 5' basic region) immediately preceding the first zinc finger. In comparison, putative NLSs within the zinc fingers and the 5' basic region of a related Krüppel protein, zif268/Egr-1, are relatively less efficient in their ability to translocate GFP into the nucleus. A search in the protein sequence data base revealed that despite the existence of numerous Krüppel proteins, only two, the lung Krüppel-like factor (LKLF) and the erythroid Krüppel-like factor (EKLF), exhibit similar NLSs to those of GKLF. These findings indicate that GKLF, LKLF, and EKLF are members of a subfamily of closely related Krüppel proteins.
Project description:KLF4 (Krüppel-like factor 4 or gut-enriched Krüppel-like factor, GKLF) and KLF5 (Krüppel-like factor 5 or intestinal-enriched Krüppel-like factor, IKLF) are two closely related members of the zinc finger-containing Krüppel-like factor family of transcription factors. Although both genes are expressed in the intestinal epithelium, their distributions are different: Klf4 is primarily expressed in the terminally differentiated villus cells while Klf5 is primarily in the proliferating crypt cells. Previous studies show that Klf4 is a negative regulator of cell proliferation and Klf5 is a positive regulator of cell proliferation. In this study, we demonstrate that Klf5 binds to a number of cis-DNA elements that have previously been shown to bind to Klf4. However, while Klf4 activates the promoter of its own gene, Klf5 suppresses the Klf4 promoter. Moreover, Klf5 abrogates the activating effect of Klf4 on the Klf4 promoter and Klf4 abrogates the inhibitory effect of Klf5 on the same promoter. An explanation of this competing effect is due to physical competition of the two proteins for binding to cognate DNA sequence. The complementary tissue localization of expression of Klf4 and Klf5 and the opposing effect of the two Klfs on the Klf4 promoter activity may provide a basis for the coordinated regulation of expression of the Klf4 gene in the intestinal epithelium.
Project description:Gut-enriched Krüppel-like factor (GKLF, KLF4) is an epithelial-specific transcription factor whose expression is associated with growth arrest. In order to understand the mechanisms regulating expression of the gene encoding GKLF, we isolated a genomic clone containing murine GKLF. The gene spans 5.3 kb and contains four exons. A major start site of transcription was mapped to an adenine residue 601 nt 5' of the translation initiation codon. An additional 1 kb of the 5'-flanking region was sequenced and found to contain multiple cis -elements homologous to the binding sites of several established transcription factors including Sp1, AP-1, Cdx, GATA, and USF. In particular, three closely spaced GC-boxes 5' of the TATA box resemble the established binding site for GKLF. DNase I protection and electrophoretic mobility shift assays verified that recombinant GKLF bound to each of the three GC-boxes. In co-transfection experiments, GKLF transactivated a reporter gene linked to the GKLF 1 kb 5'-flanking region, as did Sp1, Sp3 and Cdx-2. Mutations of one or both of the first and second GC-boxes in the promoter resulted in diminished transactivation by GKLF. These results demonstrate that the 5'-flanking sequence of the mouse GKLF gene functions as a promoter and is subject to autoregulation by its own gene product.
Project description:An important mechanism by which the tumor suppressor p53 maintains genomic stability is to induce cell cycle arrest through activation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21(WAF1/Cip1) gene. We show that the gene encoding the gut-enriched Krüppel-like factor (GKLF, KLF4) is concurrently induced with p21(WAF1/Cip1) during serum deprivation and DNA damage elicited by methyl methanesulfonate. The increases in expression of both Gklf and p21(WAF1/Cip1) due to DNA damage are dependent on p53. Moreover, during the first 30 min of methyl methanesulfonate treatment, the rise in Gklf mRNA level precedes that in p21(WAF1/Cip1), suggesting that GKLF may be involved in the induction of p21(WAF1/Cip1). Indeed, GKLF activates p21(WAF1/Cip1) through a specific Sp1-like cis-element in the p21(WAF1/Cip1) proximal promoter. The same element is also required by p53 to activate the p21(WAF1/Cip1) promoter, although p53 does not bind to it. Potential mechanisms by which p53 activates the p21(WAF1/Cip1) promoter include a physical interaction between p53 and GKLF and the transcriptional induction of Gklf by p53. Consequently, the two transactivators cause a synergistic induction of the p21(WAF1/Cip1) promoter activity. The physiological relevance of GKLF in mediating p53-dependent induction of p21(WAF1/Cip1) is demonstrated by the ability of antisense Gklf oligonucleotides to block the production of p21(WAF1/Cip1) in response to p53 activation. These findings suggest that GKLF is an essential mediator of p53 in the transcriptional induction of p21(WAF1/Cip1) and may be part of a novel pathway by which cellular responses to stress are modulated.
Project description:AIM:Esophageal carcinoma is one of the most common malignant tumors in China. But the molecular mechanisms of esophageal carcinoma remains unclear. Gut-enriched Kruppel-like factor (GKLF) is a newly identified transcription factor which is expressed abandantly in the epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal tract and deregulation of GKLF was linked to several types of cancer. It is of interest to study the expression and role of GKLF in esophageal carcinoma. METHODS:Semi-quantitative RT-PCR was used to compare GKLF expression in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma to normal mucosa of the same patients. The serum deprivation inducibility of GKLF was observed in an esophageal squamous cancer cell line by comparison to the primary culture of human fibroblast. The effect of antisense GKLF transfection on the proliferation and adhesion of esophageal squamous cancer cell line was also observed. RESULTS:The level of GKLF transcript is lower in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma compared to paired normal-appearing mucosa in 14 of 17 of the tumors analyzed. The serum deprivation inducibility of GKLF was greatly decreased in an esophageal squamous cancer cell line compared to the primary culture of human fibroblast. Decreased expression of GKLF in the esophageal cancer cell by antisense GKLF transfection increased its proliferation rate compared with that of vector transfected cell control (P<0.05). Transfection of antisense GKLF decreased its adhesion ability (P<0.05). CONCLUSION:The findings of this study demonstrate the down-regulation of GKLF in esophageal squamous cancer, and suggest that deregulation of GKLF may play a role in initiation and/or progression as well as the metastasis of esophageal squamous cancer.
Project description:We have recently identified by cDNA cloning a set of genes that are rapidly activated in mouse 3T3 cells by serum or purified growth factors. Here we report that the cDNA (clone 268) derived from one of these immediate early genes (zif/268) encodes a protein with three tandem "zinc finger" sequences typical of a class of eukaryotic transcription factors. The mRNA of zif/268 is present in many organs and tissues of the mouse and is especially abundant in the brain and thymus tissue. The 5' genomic flanking sequence of zif/268 has sequences related to binding sites for known regulatory proteins, including four sequences that resemble the core of the serum response elements (SREs) upstream of the c-fos and actin genes. The SRE-like sequences could be responsible for the coordinate activation of zif/268 and fos after serum stimulation of 3T3 cells.
Project description:Krüppel-like factor 4 (Klf4, GKLF) was originally characterized as a zinc finger transcription factor essential for terminal differentiation and cell lineage allocation of several cell types in the mouse. Mice lacking Klf4 die postnatally within hours due to impaired skin barrier function and subsequent dehydration. Recently, KLF4 was also used in cooperation with other transcription factors to reprogram differentiated cells to pluripotent embryonic stem cell-like cells. Moreover, involvement in oncogenesis was also ascribed to KLF4, which is aberrantly expressed in some types of tumors such as breast, gastric and colon cancer. We previously have shown that Klf4 is strongly expressed in postmeiotic germ cells of mouse and human testes suggesting a role for Klf4 also during spermiogenesis. In order to analyze its function we deleted Klf4 in germ cells using the Cre-loxP system. Homologous recombination of the Klf4 locus has been confirmed by genomic southern blotting and the absence of the protein in germ cells was demonstrated by Western blotting and immunofluorescence. Despite its important roles in several significant biological settings, deletion of Klf4 in germ cells did not impair spermiogenesis. Histologically, the mutant testes appeared normal and the mice were fertile. In order to identify genes that were regulated by KLF4 in male germ cells we performed microarray analyses using a whole genome array. We identified many genes exhibiting changed expression in mutants even including the telomerase reverse transcriptase mRNA, which is a stem cell marker. However, in summary, the lack of KLF4 alone does not prevent complete spermatogenesis.
Project description:Using DNA microarray screening (GeneFilter 211, Research Genetics, Huntsville, AL) of mRNA from primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), we identified 52 genes with significantly altered expression under shear stress [25 dynes/cm(2) for 6 or 24 h (1 dyne = 10 microN), compared with matched stationary controls]; including several genes not heretofore recognized to be shear stress responsive. We examined mRNA expression of nine genes by Northern blot analysis, which confirmed the results obtained on DNA microarrays. Thirty-two genes were up-regulated (by more than 2-fold), the most enhanced being cytochromes P450 1A1 and 1B1, zinc finger protein EZF/GKLF, glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper protein, argininosuccinate synthase, and human prostaglandin transporter. Most dramatically decreased (by more than 2-fold) were connective tissue growth factor, endothelin-1, monocyte chemotactic protein-1, and spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase. The changes observed suggest several potential mechanisms for increased NO production under shear stress in endothelial cells.
Project description:Control of gene expression in intestinal cells is poorly understood. Molecular mechanisms that regulate transcription of cellular genes are the foundation for understanding developmental and differentiation events. Mucin gene expression has been shown to be altered in many intestinal diseases and especially cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. Towards understanding the transcriptional regulation of a member of the 11p15.5 human mucin gene cluster, we have characterized 3.55 kb of the 5'-flanking region of the human mucin gene MUC5B, including the promoter, the first two exons and the first intron. We report here the promoter activity of successively 5'-truncated sections of 956 bases of this region by fusing it to the coding region of a luciferase reporter gene. The transcription start site was determined by primer-extension analysis. The region upstream of the transcription start site is characterized by the presence of a TATA box at bases -32/-26, DNA-binding elements for transcription factors c-Myc, N-Myc, Sp1 and nuclear factor kappaB as well as putative activator protein (AP)-1-, cAMP-response-element-binding protein (CREB)-, hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF)-1-, HNF-3-, TGT3-, gut-enriched Krüppel factor (GKLF)-, thyroid transcription factor (TTF)-1- and glucocorticoid receptor element (GRE)-binding sites. Intron 1 of MUC5B was also characterized, it is 2511 nucleotides long and contains a DNA segment of 259 bp in which are clustered eight tandemly repeated GA boxes and a CACCC box that bind Sp1. AP-2alpha and GATA-1 nuclear factors were also shown to bind to their respective cognate elements in intron 1. In transfection studies the MUC5B promoter showed a cell-specific activity as it is very active in mucus-secreting LS174T cells, whereas it is inactive in Caco-2 enterocytes and HT-29 STD (standard) undifferentiated cells. Within the promoter, maximal transcription activity was found in a segment covering the first 223 bp upstream of the transcription start site. Finally, in co-transfection experiments a transactivating effect of Sp1 on to MUC5B promoter was seen in LS174T and Caco-2 cells.