Expression of the gut-enriched Krüppel-like factor (Krüppel-like factor 4) gene in the human colon cancer cell line RKO is dependent on CDX2

Oncogene. 2001 Aug 9;20(35):4884-90. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1204645.


Gut-enriched Krüppel-like factor (GKLF or KLF4) is a zinc finger-containing, epithelial-specific transcription factor, that functions as a suppressor of cell proliferation. We previously showed that GKLF expression is decreased in intestinal and colonic adenomas, respectively, from multiple intestinal neoplasia (Min) mice and familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) patients. This study shows that GKLF is induced upon activation of the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene. However, among several human colon cancer cell lines surveyed, expression of GKLF is lowest in RKO, a line with wild-type APC and beta-catenin. RKO contains a mutated allele that encodes the putative tumor suppressor homeodomain protein, CDX2. We show that wild-type CDX2 activates the GKLF promoter and that the mutated CDX2 has a dominant negative effect on wild-type function. Our results may help explain the exceedingly low levels of GKLF expression detected in this cell line, which may in turn contribute to the tumor phenotype.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • CDX2 Transcription Factor
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / physiology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Genes, APC
  • HMGB Proteins*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • TCF Transcription Factors
  • Trans-Activators*
  • Transcription Factor 7-Like 1 Protein
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • beta Catenin


  • CDX2 Transcription Factor
  • CTNNB1 protein, human
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • GKLF protein
  • HMGB Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors
  • RNA, Messenger
  • TCF Transcription Factors
  • TCF7L1 protein, human
  • Tcf7l1 protein, mouse
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factor 7-Like 1 Protein
  • Transcription Factors
  • beta Catenin