Krüppel-like factors (KLFs) are a family of zinc finger transcription factors (ZF-TF) that are now known to be involved in complex biological processes including cancer, proliferation, and cardiovascular disease as well as developmental processes. KLFs first gained notoriety when it became known that they are crucial for promoting and maintenance of stem cell pluripotency. Over the past 20 years since the discovery of Krüppel-like factor 1 (KLF1), this transcription factor family has grown to include 18 members and 7 closely related members of the specificity protein 1 (Sp1) family. In the present study, we review the mechanisms related to regulation of KLFs by direct promoter activation or repression. We will also review and discuss some mechanisms of posttranslational modifications that could affect KLF function. We seek to understand how these transcriptional regulators are themselves regulated and how that regulation could become aberrant during various disease processes.
Part of the book: Gene Expression and Phenotypic Traits