Gut Liver.  2011 Jun;5(2):154-159.

KLF4 Expression Correlates with the Degree of Differentiation in Colorectal Cancer

Affiliations
  • 1Institute of Clinical Pharmacology and Key Laboratory of Anti-Inflammatory and Immune Pharmacology, Hefei, China.
  • 2Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Department of Biochemistry, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China. wangyuan@ahmu.edu.cn
  • 3Key Laboratory of Gene Resource Utilization for Severe Disease, Ministry of Education and Anhui Province, Hefei, China.
  • 4Department of Pathology, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China.
  • 5Department of Respiratory Medicine, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS
Kruppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) is an epithelial-specific transcription factor primarily expressed in the gastrointestinal tract that mediates growth arrest in the colonic epithelium. We tried to find whether KLF4 expression is associated with the progression and differentiation of colorectal cancer.
METHODS
We detected KLF4 expression in 109 colorectal specimens (40 normal appearing mucosa, 7 adenomas, and 62 carcinomas) by immunohistochemistry using a tissue microarray. Western blot and RT-PCR analyses were also performed.
RESULTS
The upregulation of KLF4 expression in carcinoma tissue was statistically significant (p<0.05) when compared to normal appearing mucosa. The negative and weak positive staining rates in normal appearing mucosa, adenoma, and carcinoma were 42.5%, 71.4%, and 82.3%, respectively, indicating a decreased degree of KLF4 expression over the course of progressive transformation of normal cells into malignant derivatives. KLF4 protein levels showed no correlation with sex, age, or metastatic state (p>0.05), while KLF4 protein expression correlated with the diagnostic stage (p<0.05). Furthermore, strong KLF4 staining was detected in 22.9% (11/48) and 0% (0/14) of well/moderately and poorly differentiated colorectal cancers, respectively. Our results clearly indicate that KLF4 protein expression significantly correlates with the degree of differentiation in colorectal cancers (p<0.05). KLF4 expression in RKO cells is also upregulated by butyrate, an inducer of differentiation.
CONCLUSIONS
Downregulation of KLF4 expression may lead to more poorly differentiated tumors.

Keyword

Kruppel-like factor 4; Differentiation; Colorectal cancer; Immunohistochemisty

MeSH Terms

Adenoma
Blotting, Western
Butyrates
Colon
Colorectal Neoplasms
Down-Regulation
Epithelium
Gastrointestinal Tract
Immunohistochemistry
Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors
Mucous Membrane
Transcription Factors
Up-Regulation
Butyrates
Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors
Transcription Factors
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