Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.508, No.1, 159-168, 2019
The transcription factor Kruppel-like factor 5 promotes cell growth and metastasis via activating PI3K/AKT/Snail signaling in hepatocellular carcinoma
The transcription factor Kruppel-like factor 5 (KLF5) is highly expressed in many cancers and serves as a prognostic factor. However, the function of KLF5 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is unclear. In this study, we found that KLF5 was significantly overexpressed in HCC cell lines and specimens, and high KLF5 expression predicted a poor prognosis for HCC patients. Then, we studied the effects of KLF5 on the proliferation, apoptosis, migration and invasion of HCC cells in vitro and vivo. The inhibition of KLF5 markedly inhibited HCC growth and metastasis, while KLF5 overexpression promoted these processes. In addition, we observed that KLF5 could promote the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in HCC via the PI3K/AKT/Snail signaling pathway. The silencing of KLF5 in HCC cell lines downregulated the expression of N-cadherin, Vimentin and Snail and increased the expression of the epithelial marker E-cadherin. The expression of MMP2 and MMP9 was also decreased in KLF5-silenced HCC cells. However, opposite results were observed in the KLF5-overexpressing group. These results indicate that KLF5 plays a significant role in HCC progression and metastasis and induces EMT via activating PI3K/AKT/Snail signaling, and the inhibition of KLF5 may be a potential treatment modality for patients with HCC. (C) 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.