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Roles of Krüpel-like factor 4 in normal homeostasis, cancer and stem cells.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Sealy Center for Cancer Cell Biology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77555-1448, USA.


Krüpel-like factor 4 (KLF4) is a zinc finger-type transcription factor expressed in a variety of tissues, including the epithelium of the intestine and the skin, and it plays an important role in differentiation and cell cycle arrest. Depending on the gene targeted, KLF4 can both activate and repress transcription. Moreover, in certain cellular contexts, KLF4 can function as a tumor suppressor or an oncogene. Finally, KLF4 is important in reprogramming differentiated fibroblasts into inducible pluripotent stem cells, which highly resemble embryonic stem cells. This review summarizes what is known about the diverse functions of KLF4 as well as their molecular mechanisms.

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