Transcription factor KLF7 regulates differentiation of neuroectodermal and mesodermal cell lineages

Massimiliano Caiazzo, Luca Colucci-D'Amato, Maria T. Esposito, Silvia Parisi, Stefano Stifani, Francesco Ramirez, Umberto di Porzio

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39 Scopus citations


Previous gene targeting studies in mice have implicated the nuclear protein Krüppel-like factor 7 (KLF7) in nervous system development while cell culture assays have documented its involvement in cell cycle regulation. By employing short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated gene silencing, here we demonstrate that murine Klf7 gene expression is required for in vitro differentiation of neuroectodermal and mesodermal cells. Specifically, we show a correlation of Klf7 silencing with down-regulation of the neuronal marker microtubule-associated protein 2 (Map2) and the nerve growth factor (NGF) tyrosine kinase receptor A (TrkA) using the PC12 neuronal cell line. Similarly, KLF7 inactivation in Klf7-null mice decreases the expression of the neurogenic marker brain lipid-binding protein/fatty acid-binding protein 7 (BLBP/FABP7) in neural stem cells (NSCs). We also report that Klf7 silencing is detrimental to neuronal and cardiomyocytic differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs), in addition to altering the adipogenic and osteogenic potential of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). Finally, our results suggest that genes that are key for self-renewal of undifferentiated ESCs repress Klf7 expression in ESCs. Together with previous findings, these results provide evidence that KLF7 has a broad spectrum of regulatory functions, which reflect the discrete cellular and molecular contexts in which this transcription factor operates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2365-2376
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number14
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Adipogenesis
  • Cardiomyogenesis
  • Map2
  • Neuritogenesis
  • Osteogenesis


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