Kallikrein 4 is a proliferative factor that is overexpressed in prostate cancer

Cancer Res. 2007 Jun 1;67(11):5221-30. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-06-4728.


Kallikrein 4 (KLK4) is a member of the human tissue KLK family. Whereas all other KLKs are secreted proteins with extracellular functions, KLK4 is primarily localized to the nucleus, indicating that it has a different function compared with other members of the KLK family. In addition, KLK4 expression is highly enriched in the prostate and is regulated by androgens. Here, we studied the possible functional role of KLK4 in prostate cancer cells and examined its expression at the protein level in prostate cancer specimens. Consistent with its mRNA expression, KLK4 protein is significantly overexpressed in malignant prostate compared with normal prostate. KLK4 expression is predominantly in the nucleus of basal cells in the prostate epithelium in keeping with its distribution in prostate cancer cells in vitro. Furthermore, adenovirus-mediated expression of KLK4 dramatically induces proliferation of prostate cancer cells, at least in part through significant alterations in cell cycle regulatory gene expression. Consistent with these data, small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of endogenous KLK4 in LNCaP prostate cancer cells inhibits cell growth. These data identify KLK4 as the first member of the KLK family that is a proliferative factor with effects on gene expression and indicate that it may have an important role in prostate cancer development and progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Growth Processes / physiology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, cdc
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kallikreins / biosynthesis*
  • Kallikreins / genetics
  • Male
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics


  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Kallikreins
  • kallikrein 4