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Disease Markers
Volume 2015, Article ID 473742, 10 pages
Research Article

Krüppel-Like Factor 4 Inhibits the Transforming Growth Factor-β1-Promoted Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition via Downregulating Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 in Lung Epithelial Cells

Division of Respiratory Disease, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan 430060, China

Received 22 August 2015; Revised 1 November 2015; Accepted 10 November 2015

Academic Editor: Ralf Lichtinghagen

Copyright © 2015 Fang Sun and Ke Hu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling and TGF-β-promoted epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) have been postulated to be the common pathway causing pulmonary fibrosis. However, the up- or downstreaming markers of TGF-β-induced EMT still need to be further recognized. In the present study, we investigated the regulation on Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF-4) and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) by TGF-β in the murine lung epithelial LA-4 cells and then examined the regulation of both markers in the TGF-β-induced EMT by the PAI-1 knockdown or the KLF-4 overexpression. Our study indicated that TGF-β induced EMT in mouse LA-4 lung epithelial cells via reducing E-cadherin, while promoting Collagen I and α-SMA. And PAI-1 was upregulated, whereas KLF-4 was downregulated in the TGF-β-induced EMT model in LA-4 cells. Moreover, the siRNA-mediated PAI-1 knockdown inhibited the TGF-β-induced EMT, whereas the adenovirus-medicated KLF-4 overexpression markedly reduced the PAI-1 expression and inhibited the TGF-β-induced EMT in LA-4 cells. In conclusion, our study confirmed the downregulation of KLF-4 in the TGF-β-induced EMT in LA-4 cells. And the KLF-4 overexpression significantly reduced the TGF-β-induced PAI-1 and thus inhibited the TGF-β-induced EMT in mouse lung epithelial LA-4 cells. It implies that KLF-4 might be a promising target for effective control of the pulmonary fibrosis.