Germline deletion of Krüppel-like factor 14 does not increase risk of diet induced metabolic syndrome in male C57BL/6 mice

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2017 Dec;1863(12):3277-3285. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2017.09.021. Epub 2017 Sep 28.


Objective: The transcription factor Krüppel-like factor 14 (KLF14) has been associated with type 2 diabetes and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) through genome-wide association studies. The mechanistic underpinnings of KLF14's control of metabolic processes remain largely unknown. We studied the physiological roles of KLF14 in a knockout (KO) mouse model.

Methods: Male whole body Klf14 KO mice were fed a chow or high fat diet (HFD) and diet induced phenotypes were analyzed. Additionally, tissue-specific expression of Klf14 was determined using RT-PCR, RNA sequencing, immunoblotting and whole mount lacZ staining. Finally, the consequences of KLF14 loss-of-function were studied using RNA sequencing in tissues with relatively high Klf14 expression levels.

Results: KLF14 loss-of-function did not affect HFD-induced weight gain or insulin resistance. Fasting plasma concentrations of glucose, insulin, cholesterol, HDL-C and ApoA-I were also comparable between Klf14+/+ and Klf14-/- mice on chow and HFD. We found that in mice expression of Klf14 was the highest in the anterior pituitary (adenohypophysis), lower but detectable in white adipose tissue and undetectable in liver. Loss of KLF14 function impacted on the pituitary transcriptome with extracellular matrix organization as the primary affected pathway and a predicted link to glucocorticoid receptor signaling.

Conclusions: Whole body loss of KLF14 function in male mice does not result in metabolic abnormalities as assessed under chow and HFD conditions. Mostly likely there is redundancy for the role of KLF14 in the mouse and a diverging function in humans.

Keywords: Adenohypophysis; Genome-wide association studies; Krüppel-like factor; Mouse model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apolipoprotein A-I / metabolism
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Cholesterol, HDL / metabolism
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / deficiency*
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / genetics
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid / metabolism
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA


  • Apolipoprotein A-I
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Insulin
  • Klf14 protein, mouse
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid
  • Cholesterol
  • Glucose