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Klf4 Is a Transcriptional Regulator of Genes Critical for EMT, Including Jnk1 (Mapk8)


Tiwari, Neha; Meyer-Schaller, Nathalie; Arnold, Phil; Antoniadis, Helena; Pachkov, Mikhail; van Nimwegen, Erik; Christofori, Gerhard (2013). Klf4 Is a Transcriptional Regulator of Genes Critical for EMT, Including Jnk1 (Mapk8). PLoS ONE, 8(2):1-17.

Abstract

We have identified the zinc-finger transcription factor Kruppel-like factor 4 (Klf4) among the transcription factors that are significantly downregulated in their expression during epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in mammary epithelial cells and in breast cancer cells. Loss and gain of function experiments demonstrate that the down-regulation of Klf4 expression is required for the induction of EMT in vitro and for metastasis in vivo. In addition, reduced Klf4 expression correlates with shorter disease-free survival of subsets of breast cancer patients. Yet, reduced expression of Klf4 also induces apoptosis in cells undergoing TGFb-induced EMT. Chromatin immunoprecipitation/deep-sequencing in combination with gene expression profiling reveals direct Klf4 target genes, including E-cadherin (Cdh1), N-cadherin (Cdh2), vimentin (Vim), b-catenin (Ctnnb1), VEGF-A (Vegfa), endothelin-1 (Edn1) and Jnk1 (Mapk8). Thereby, Klf4 acts as a transcriptional activator of epithelial genes and as a repressor of mesenchymal genes. Specifically, increased expression of Jnk1 (Mapk8) upon down-regulation of its transcriptional repressor Klf4 is required for EMT cell migration and for the induction of apoptosis. The data demonstrate a central role of Klf4 in the maintenance of epithelial cell differentiation and the prevention of EMT and metastasis.

Abstract

We have identified the zinc-finger transcription factor Kruppel-like factor 4 (Klf4) among the transcription factors that are significantly downregulated in their expression during epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in mammary epithelial cells and in breast cancer cells. Loss and gain of function experiments demonstrate that the down-regulation of Klf4 expression is required for the induction of EMT in vitro and for metastasis in vivo. In addition, reduced Klf4 expression correlates with shorter disease-free survival of subsets of breast cancer patients. Yet, reduced expression of Klf4 also induces apoptosis in cells undergoing TGFb-induced EMT. Chromatin immunoprecipitation/deep-sequencing in combination with gene expression profiling reveals direct Klf4 target genes, including E-cadherin (Cdh1), N-cadherin (Cdh2), vimentin (Vim), b-catenin (Ctnnb1), VEGF-A (Vegfa), endothelin-1 (Edn1) and Jnk1 (Mapk8). Thereby, Klf4 acts as a transcriptional activator of epithelial genes and as a repressor of mesenchymal genes. Specifically, increased expression of Jnk1 (Mapk8) upon down-regulation of its transcriptional repressor Klf4 is required for EMT cell migration and for the induction of apoptosis. The data demonstrate a central role of Klf4 in the maintenance of epithelial cell differentiation and the prevention of EMT and metastasis.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:Special Collections > SystemsX.ch
Special Collections > SystemsX.ch > Research, Technology and Development Projects > Cell Plasticity
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Date:February 2013
Deposited On:26 Jun 2013 07:27
Last Modified:06 Aug 2017 06:03
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0057329
PubMed ID:23451207

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