Kruppel-like factor 4 (KLF4): What we currently know.
ABSTRACT: Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) is an evolutionarily conserved zinc finger-containing transcription factor that regulates diverse cellular processes such as cell growth, proliferation, and differentiation. Since its discovery in 1996, KLF4 has been gaining a lot of attention, particularly after it was shown in 2006 as one of four factors involved in the induction of pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Here we review the current knowledge about the different functions and roles of KLF4 in various tissue and organ systems.
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:Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) is a zinc finger transcription factor critical for the regulation of many cellular functions in both normal and neoplastic cells. Here, using human glioblastoma cells, we investigated KLF4's effects on cancer cell metabolism. We found that forced KLF4 expression promotes mitochondrial fusion and induces dramatic changes in mitochondrial morphology. To determine the impact of these changes on the cellular functions following, we analyzed how KLF4 alters glioblastoma cell metabolism, including glucose uptake, glycolysis, pentose phosphate pathway, and oxidative phosphorylation. We did not identify significant differences in baseline cellular metabolism between control and KLF4-expressing cells. However, when mitochondrial function was impaired, KLF4 significantly increased spare respiratory capacity and levels of reactive oxygen species in the cells. To identify the biological effects of these changes, we analyzed proliferation and survival of control and KLF4-expressing cells under stress conditions, including serum and nutrition deprivation. We found that following serum starvation, KLF4 altered cell cycle progression by arresting the cells at the G2/M phase and that KLF4 protected cells from nutrition deprivation-induced death. Finally, we demonstrated that methylation-dependent KLF4-binding activity mediates mitochondrial fusion. Specifically, the downstream targets of KLF4-mCpG binding, guanine nucleotide exchange factors, serve as the effector of KLF4-induced mitochondrial fusion, cell cycle arrest, and cell protection. Our experimental system provides a robust model for studying the interactions between mitochondrial morphology and function, mitochondrial dynamics and metabolism, and mitochondrial fusion and cell death during tumor initiation and progression.
Project description:Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) is a transcription factor that plays an important role in cell differentiation, proliferation, and survival, especially in the context of cancers. This study revealed that KLF4 activates glycolytic metabolism in breast cancer cells by up-regulating the platelet isoform of phosphofructokinase (PFKP). KLF4 activated the transcription of the PFKP gene by directly binding to the PFKP promoter. Whereas glucose uptake and lactate production were inhibited by the knockdown of KLF4, they were activated by the overexpression of KLF4. Unlike PFKP, the expressions of the other isoforms of phosphofructokinase and glycolytic genes were unaffected by KLF4. The human breast cancer tissues showed a close correlation between KLF4 and PFKP expression. This study also showed that PFKP plays a critical role in cell proliferation in breast cancer cells. In conclusion, it is suggested that KLF4 plays a role in maintenance of high glycolytic metabolism by transcriptional activation of the PFKP gene in breast cancer cells.
Project description:Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) is a pluripotency transcription factor that helps in generating induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). We sequenced for the first time the full coding sequence of Camelus dromedarius KLF4 (cKLF4), which is also known as the Arabian camel. Bioinformatics analysis revealed the molecular weight and the isoelectric point of cKLF4 protein to be 53.043 kDa and 8.74, respectively. The predicted cKLF4 protein sequence shows high identity with some other species as follows: 98% with Bactrian camel and 89% with alpaca KLF4 proteins. A three-dimensional (3D) structure was built based on the available crystal structure of the Mus musculus KLF4 (mKLF4) of 82 residues (PDB: 2 WBS) and by predicting 400 residues using bioinformatics software. The comparison confirms the presence of the zinc finger domains in cKLF4 protein. Phylogenetic analysis showed that KLF4 from the Arabian camel is grouped with the Bactrian camel, alpaca, cattle, and pig. This study will help in the annotation of KLF4 protein and in generating camel-induced pluripotent stem cells (CiPSCs).
Project description:Krüppel-Like Factor 4 (KLF4) is a member of the KLF transcription factor family, and evidence suggests that KLF4 is either an oncogene or a tumor suppressor. The regulatory mechanism underlying KLF4 expression in cancer, and specifically in lymphoma, is still not understood. Bioinformatics analysis revealed two YY1 putative binding sites in the KLF4 promoter region (-950 bp and -105 bp). Here, the potential regulation of KLF4 by YY1 in NHL was analyzed. Mutation of the putative YY1 binding sites in a previously reported system containing the KLF4 promoter region and CHIP analysis confirmed that these binding sites are important for KLF4 regulation. B-NHL cell lines showed that both KLF4 and YY1 are co-expressed, and transfection with siRNA-YY1 resulted in significant inhibition of KLF4. The clinical implications of YY1 in the transcriptional regulation of KLF4 were investigated by IHC in a TMA with 43 samples of subtypes DLBCL and FL, and all tumor tissues expressing YY1 demonstrated a correlation with KLF4 expression, which was consistent with bioinformatics analyses in several databases. Our findings demonstrated that KLF4 can be transcriptionally regulated by YY1 in B-NHL, and a correlation between YY1 expression and KLF4 was found in clinical samples. Hence, both YY1 and KLF4 may be possible therapeutic biomarkers of NHL.
Project description:Odontoblasts are a type of terminally differentiated matrix-secreting cells. A number of molecular mechanisms are involved in the differentiation of odontoblasts. Several studies demonstrated that Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) promotes odontoblast differentiation via control of dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSPP). Because nuclear factor I-C (NFIC) is also known to control DSPP, we investigated the relationship between NFIC and KLF4 during odontoblast differentiation. Klf4 mRNA expression was significantly decreased in Nfic(-/-) pulp cells compared with wild type cells. In immunohistochemistry assays, dentin matrix protein 1 (Dmp1), and DSP protein expression was barely observed in Nfic(-/-) odontoblasts and dentin matrix. Nfic bound directly to the Klf4 promoter and stimulated Klf4 transcriptional activity, thereby regulating Dmp1 and DSPP expression during odontoblast differentiation. Nfic or Klf4 overexpression promoted mineralized nodule formation in MDPC-23 cells. In addition, Nfic overexpression also decreased Slug luciferase activity but augmented E-cadherin promoter activity via up-regulation of Klf4 in odontoblasts. Our study reveals important signaling pathways during dentinogenesis: the Nfic-Klf4-Dmp1-Dspp and the Nfic-Klf4-E-cadherin pathways in odontoblasts. Our results indicate the important role of NFIC in regulating KLF4 during dentinogenesis.
Project description:The reprogramming factor Krüppel-like factor 4 (Klf4), one of the Yamanaka's reprogramming factors, plays an essential role in reprogramming somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Klf4 is dysregulated and displays divergent functions in multiple malignancies, but the biological roles of Klf4 in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) remain unknown. The present study revealed that Klf4 downregulation in a cohort of human NPC biopsies is significantly associated with invasive and metastatic phenotypes of NPC. Our results showed exogenous expression of Klf4 significantly inhibited cell proliferation, decreased stemness, triggered mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET)-like molecular changes, and suppressed migration and invasion of NPC cells, whereas depletion of endogeneous Klf4 by RNAi reversed the aforementioned biological behaviors and characheristics. Klf4 silencing significantly enhanced the metastatic ability of NPC cells in vivo. In addition, CHIP assay confirmed that E-cadherin is a transcriptional target of Klf4 in NPC cells. Additional studies demonstrated that Klf4-induced MET-like cellular marker alterations, and reduced motility and invasion of NPC cells were mediated by E-cadherin. This study revealed the clinical correlation between Klf4 expression and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) biomarkers (including its target gene E-cadherin) in a cohort of NPC biopsies. Taken together, our findings suggest, for what we believe is the first time, that Klf4 functions as a tumor suppressor in NPC to decrease stemness phenotype, inhibit EMT and prevent tumor progression, suggesting that restoring Klf4 function may provide therapeutic benefits in NPC.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of endogenous non-coding small RNAs that post-transcriptionally control the translation and stability of target mRNAs in a sequence-dependent manner. MiRNAs are essential for key cellular processes including proliferation, differentiation, cell death and metabolism, among others. Consequently, alterations of miRNA expression contribute to developmental defects and a myriad of diseases.The expression of miRNAs can be altered by several mechanisms including gene copy number alterations, aberrant DNA methylation, defects of the miRNA processing machinery or unscheduled expression of transcription factors. In this work, we sought to analyze the regulation of the miR-182 cluster, located at the 7q32 locus, which encodes three different miRNAs that are abundantly expressed in human embryonic stem cells and de-regulated in cancer. We have found that the Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) directly regulates miR-182 cluster expression in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and in melanoma tumors, in which the miR-182 cluster is highly expressed and has a pro-metastatic role. Furthermore, higher KLF4 expression was found to be associated with metastatic progression and poor patient outcome. Loss of function experiments revealed that KLF4 is required for melanoma cell maintenance. These findings provide new insights into the regulation of the miR-182 cluster expression and new opportunities for therapeutic intervention in tumors in which the KLF4-miR-182 cluster axis is deregulated.
Project description:Cyclosporine A (CSA, calcineurin inhibitor) has been shown to block both vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation in cell culture and vessel neointimal formation following injury in vivo. The purpose of this study was to determine molecular and pathological effects of CSA on VSMCs. Using real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, Western blot analysis, and immunofluorescence microscopy, we show that CSA up-regulated the expression of Krüppel-like factor-4 (KLF4) in VSMCs. KLF4 plays a key role in regulating VSMC phenotypic modulation. KLF4 antagonizes proliferation, facilitates migration, and down-regulates VSMC differentiation marker gene expression. We show that the VSMC differentiation marker genes smooth muscle alpha-actin (ACTA2), transgelin (TAGLN), smoothelin (SMTN), and myocardin (MYOCD) are all down-regulated by CSA in VSMC monoculture, whereas cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor-1A (CDKN1A) and matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP3) are up-regulated. CSA did not affect the abundance of the VSMC microRNA (MIR) markers MIR143 and MIR145. Administration of CSA to rat carotid artery in vivo resulted in acute and transient suppression of ACTA2, TAGLN, SMTN, MYOCD, and smooth muscle myosin heavy chain (MYH11) mRNA levels. The tumor suppressor genes KLF4, p53, and CDKN1A, however, were up-regulated, as well as MMP3, MMP9, and collagen-VIII. CSA-treated arteries showed remarkable remodeling, including breakdown of the internal elastic lamina and reorientation of VSMCs, as well as increased KLF4 immunostaining in VSMCs and endothelial cells. Altogether, these data show that cyclosporin up-regulates KLF4 expression and promotes phenotypic modulation of VSMCs.
Project description:Transcription factor Krüppel-like factor 4 (Klf4), one of the factors directing cellular reprogramming, recognizes the CpG dinucleotide (whether methylated or unmodified) within a specific G/C-rich sequence. The binding affinity of the mouse Klf4 DNA-binding domain for methylated DNA is only slightly stronger than that for an unmodified oligonucleotide. The structure of the C-terminal three Krüppel-like zinc fingers (ZnFs) of mouse Klf4, in complex with fully methylated DNA, was determined at 1.85 Å resolution. An arginine and a glutamate interact with the methyl group. By comparison with two other recently characterized structures of ZnF protein complexes with methylated DNA, we propose a common principle of recognition of methylated CpG by C2H2 ZnF proteins, which involves a spatially conserved Arg-Glu pair.