Krüppel-like factor (KLF)5: An emerging foe of cardiovascular health

J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2022 Feb:163:56-66. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2021.10.002. Epub 2021 Oct 13.


Krüppel-like factors (KLFs) are DNA-binding transcriptional factors, which regulate various pathways that pertain to development, metabolism and other cellular mechanisms. KLF5 was first cloned in 1993 and by 1999, it was reported as the intestinal-enriched KLF. Beyond findings that have associated KLF5 with normal development and cancer, it has been associated with various types of cardiovascular (CV) complications and regulation of metabolic pathways in the liver, heart, adipose tissue and skeletal muscle. Specifically, increased KLF5 expression has been linked with cardiomyopathy in diabetes, end-stage heart failure, and as well as in vascular atherosclerotic lesions. In this review article, we summarize research findings about transcriptional, post-transcriptional and post-translational regulation of KLF5, as well as the role of KLF5 in the biology of cells and organs that affect cardiovascular health either directly or indirectly. Finally, we propose KLF5 inhibition as an emerging approach for cardiovascular therapeutics.

Keywords: Atherosclerosis; Cardiovascular physiology; Energy metabolism; Heart failure; Krüppel-like factor 5.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cardiomyopathies*
  • Cardiovascular System* / metabolism
  • Heart
  • Humans
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • KLF5 protein, human
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factors