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Cancer Res. 2007 Aug 1;67(15):7184-93.

Krüppel-like factor 8 induces epithelial to mesenchymal transition and epithelial cell invasion.

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  • 1Center for Cell Biology and Cancer Research, Albany Medical College, Albany, New York 12208, USA.


Tumor invasion and metastasis are the main causes of death from cancer. Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a determining step for a cancer cell to progress from a noninvasive to invasive state. Krüppel-like factor 8 (KLF8) plays a key role in oncogenic transformation and is highly overexpressed in several types of invasive human cancer, including breast cancer. To understand the role of KLF8 in regulating the progression of human breast cancer, we first established stable expression of KLF8 in an immortalized normal human breast epithelial cell line. We found that KLF8 strongly induced EMT and enhanced motility and invasiveness in the cells, by analyzing changes in cell morphology and epithelial and mesenchymal marker proteins, and using cell migration and Matrigel invasion assays. Chromatin immunoprecipitations (ChIP), oligonucleotide precipitations, and promoter-reporter assays showed that KLF8 directly bound and repressed the promoter of E-cadherin independent of E boxes in the promoter and Snail expression. Aberrant elevation of KLF8 expression is highly correlated with the decrease in E-cadherin expression in the invasive human breast cancer. Blocking KLF8 expression by RNA interference restored E-cadherin expression in the cancer cells and strongly inhibited the cell invasiveness. This work identifies KLF8 as a novel EMT-regulating transcription factor that opens a new avenue in EMT research and suggests an important role for KLF8 in human breast cancer invasion and metastasis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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