Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5) has been implicated as a tumor suppressor in various solid tumors such as breast and prostate, and recent studies have demonstrated a role for this protein in neutrophil differentiation of acute promyelocytic leukemia cells in response to ATRA. Here, we show that KLF5 expression increases during primary granulocyte differentiation and that expression of KLF5 is a requirement for granulocyte differentiation of 32D cells. In AML, we show that KLF5 mRNA expression levels are reduced in multiple French-American-British subtypes compared to normal controls, and also in leukemic stem cells relative to normal hematopoietic stem cells. We demonstrate that in selected AML cases, reduced expression is associated with hypermethylation of the KLF5 locus in the proximal promoter and/or intron 1, suggesting that this may represent a Class II genetic lesion in the development of AML.
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