Mammalian Krüppel-like factors in health and diseases

Physiol Rev. 2010 Oct;90(4):1337-81. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00058.2009.


The Krüppel-like factor (KLF) family of transcription factors regulates diverse biological processes that include proliferation, differentiation, growth, development, survival, and responses to external stress. Seventeen mammalian KLFs have been identified, and numerous studies have been published that describe their basic biology and contribution to human diseases. KLF proteins have received much attention because of their involvement in the development and homeostasis of numerous organ systems. KLFs are critical regulators of physiological systems that include the cardiovascular, digestive, respiratory, hematological, and immune systems and are involved in disorders such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory conditions. Furthermore, KLFs play an important role in reprogramming somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and maintaining the pluripotent state of embryonic stem cells. As research on KLF proteins progresses, additional KLF functions and associations with disease are likely to be discovered. Here, we review the current knowledge of KLF proteins and describe common attributes of their biochemical and physiological functions and their pathophysiological roles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / classification
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Phylogeny


  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors