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Eur J Cancer. 2013 Mar;49(4):955-63. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2012.09.023. Epub 2012 Oct 22.

Klf4 transcription factor is expressed in the cytoplasm of prostate cancer cells.

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  • 1Institute for Surgical Research and Hospital Management, Department of Biomedicine, Basel University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland.



Cancer initiation and progression might be driven by small populations of cells endowed with stem cell-like properties. Here we comparatively addressed the expression of genes encoding putative stemness regulators including c-Myc, Klf4, Nanog, Oct4A and Sox2 genes in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer (PCA).


Fifty-eight PCA and thirty-nine BPH tissues samples were used for gene expression analysis, as evaluated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). The expression of specific Klf4 isoforms was tested by conventional PCR. Klf4 specific antibodies were used for protein detection in a tissue microarray including 404 prostate samples.


Nanog, Oct4A and Sox2 genes were comparably expressed in BPH and PCA samples, whereas c-Myc and Klf4 genes were expressed to significantly higher extents in PCA than in BPH specimens. Immunohistochemical studies revealed that Klf4 protein is detectable in a large majority of epithelial prostatic cells, irrespective of malignant transformation. However, in PCA, a predominantly cytoplasmic location was observed, consistent with the expression of a differentially spliced Klf4α isoform.


Klf4 is highly expressed at gene and protein level in BPH and PCA tissues but a cytoplasmic location of the specific gene product is predominantly detectable in malignant cells. Klf4 location might be of critical relevance to steer its functions during oncogenesis.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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