Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) is a transcription factor that is abundantly expressed in various organisms from bacteria to mammals. It has been demonstrated that KLF4 regulates the expression of a wide range of genes. Analysis of KLF4 target genes reveals its diverse regulatory functions in cell growth, proliferation, differentiation, embryogenesis, and inflammation. However, the regulation of the expression of inducible heat shock protein 70 (HSP72) and heat shock cognate 70 (HSP73) by KLF4 is not defined. In our previous study, a complementary deoxyribonucleic acid microarray assay showed that KLF4 overexpression led to dramatic upregulation of HSP73 messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) in murine C2C12 myoblast cells, suggesting that HSP73 is a potential target gene regulated by KLF4. The effect of KLF4 on the expression of HSP72 and HSP73 was further examined by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and Western blot in KLF4-overexpressing or KLF4-deficient cells. The results showed the upregulation of the HSP73 constitutive expression by KLF4 overexpression in both C2C12 cells and murine RAW264.7 macrophages; in response to heat stress, however, few changes were observed in the levels of HSP73 by KLF4 overexpression. In addition, knockdown of endogenous KLF4 expression by morpholino antisense oligonucleotides significantly decreased both HSP73 mRNA and protein levels under normal conditions. Conversely, KLF4 had no effect on the expression of HSP72. Taken together, these findings suggest an important role for KLF4 as a novel regulator of the constitutive expression of HSP73
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