The biology of the mammalian Krüppel-like family of transcription factors

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. Nov-Dec 2000;32(11-12):1103-21. doi: 10.1016/s1357-2725(00)00059-5.


Recent advances in molecular cloning have led to the identification of a large number of mammalian zinc finger-containing transcription factors that exhibit homology to the Drosophila melanogaster protein, Krüppel. Although the amino acid sequences in the zinc finger domains of these Krüppel-like factors (KLFs) are closely related to one another, the regions outside the zinc fingers of the proteins are usually unique. KLFs display seemingly different and broad biological properties with each functioning as an activator of transcription, a repressor or both. This review article provides a current phylogenetic classification of the identified KLFs to date. More importantly, the currently known biological activities of the KLFs in regulating transcription, cell proliferation, differentiation and development are summarized and compared. Further characterization of this interesting protein family should provide additional insights into the their respective regulatory role in various important biological processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins*
  • Humans
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors
  • Mammals
  • Phylogeny
  • Repressor Proteins*
  • Transcription Factors* / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors* / classification
  • Transcription Factors* / genetics
  • Transcription Factors* / physiology
  • Transcription, Genetic*
  • Zinc Fingers


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors