PloS one

Doxycycline inducible Krüppel-like factor 4 lentiviral vector mediates mesenchymal to epithelial transition in ovarian cancer cells.

PMID 25137052


Ovarian cancer presents therapeutic challenges due to its typically late detection, aggressive metastasis, and therapeutic resistance. The transcription factor Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) has been implicated in human cancers as a tumor suppressor or oncogene, although its role depends greatly on the cellular context. The role of KLF4 in ovarian cancer has not been elucidated in mechanistic detail. In this study, we investigated the role of KLF4 in ovarian cancer cells by transducing the ovarian cancer cell lines SKOV3 and OVCAR3 with a doxycycline-inducible KLF4 lentiviral vector. Overexpression of KLF4 reduced cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. The epithelial cell marker gene E-cadherin was significantly upregulated, whereas the mesenchymal cell marker genes vimentin, twist1 and snail2 (slug) were downregulated in both KLF4-expressing SKOV3 and OVCAR3 cells. KLF4 inhibited the transforming growth factor β (TGFβ)-induced epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in ovarian cancer cells. Taken together, our data demonstrate that KLF4 functions as a tumor suppressor gene in ovarian cancer cells by inhibiting TGFβ-induced EMT.