Krüppel-like factors in cancer

Nat Rev Cancer. 2013 Oct;13(10):701-13. doi: 10.1038/nrc3582.


Krüppel-like factors (KLFs) are a family of DNA-binding transcriptional regulators with diverse and essential functions in a multitude of cellular processes, including proliferation, differentiation, migration, inflammation and pluripotency. In this Review, we discuss the roles and regulation of the 17 known KLFs in various cancer-relevant processes. Importantly, the functions of KLFs are context dependent, with some KLFs having different roles in normal cells and cancer, during cancer development and progression and in different cancer types. We also identify key questions for the field that are likely to lead to important new translational research and discoveries in cancer biology.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Movement
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / classification
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Proteins / chemistry
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Proteins / physiology*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Oncogenes
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics*
  • Tumor Microenvironment
  • Zinc Fingers


  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors
  • Neoplasm Proteins