Beth B McConnell

Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States

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Publications (25)262.62 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5) is a pro-proliferative transcriptional regulator primarily expressed in the intestinal crypt epithelial cells. Constitutive intestine-specific deletion of Klf5 is neonatal lethal suggesting a crucial role for KLF5 in intestinal development and homeostasis. We have previously shown Klf5 to play an active role regulating intestinal tumorigenesis. Here we examine the effect of inducible intestine-specific deletion of Klf5 in adult mice. Klf5 is lost from the intestine beginning at day 3 after the start of a 5-day treatment with the inducer tamoxifen. Although the mice have no significant weight loss or lethality, the colonic tissue shows signs of epithelial distress starting at day 3 following induction. Accompanying the morphological changes is a significant loss of proliferative crypt epithelial cells as revealed by BrdU or Ki67 staining at days 3 & 5 after start of tamoxifen. We also observed a loss of goblet cells from the colon and Paneth cells from the small intestine upon induced deletion of Klf5. In addition, loss of Klf5 from the colonic epithelium is accompanied by a regenerative response that coincides with an expansion in the zone of Sox9 expression along the crypt axis. At day 11, both proliferation and Sox9 expression return to baseline levels. Microarray and quantitative PCR analyses reveal an up-regulation of several regeneration-associated genes (Reg1A, Reg3G and Reg3B) and down-regulation of many Klf5 targets (Ki-67, cyclin B, Cdc2 and cyclin D1). Sox9 and Reg1A protein levels are also increased upon Klf5 loss. Lentiviral-mediated knockdown of KLF5 and exogenous expression of KLF5 in colorectal cancer cell lines confirm that Sox9 expression is negatively regulated by KLF5. Furthermore, ChIP assays reveal a direct association of KLF5 with both the Sox9 and Reg1A promoters. We have shown that disruption of epithelial homeostasis due to Klf5 loss from the adult colon is followed by a regenerative response led by Sox9 and the Reg family of proteins. Our study demonstrates that adult mouse colonic tissue undergoes acute physiological changes to accommodate the loss of Klf5 withstanding epithelial damage further signifying importance of Klf5 in colonic homeostasis.
    Developmental Biology 01/2014; · 3.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5) is transcription factor that is expressed by dividing epithelial cells of the intestinal epithelium. KLF5 promotes proliferation in vitro and in vivo and is induced by mitogens and various stress stimuli. To study the role of KLF5 in intestinal epithelial homeostasis, we examined the phenotype of mice with conditional deletion of Klf5 in the gut. Mice were generated with intestinal-specific deletion of Klf5 (Vil-Cre;Klf5fl/fl). Morphologic changes in the small intestine and colon were examined by immunohistochemistry, immunoblotting, and real-time polymerase chain reaction. Klf5 mutant mice were born at a normal Mendelian ratio but had high mortality compared with controls. Complete deletion of Klf5 from the intestinal mucosa resulted in neonatal lethality that corresponded with an absence of epithelial proliferation. Variegated intestinal-specific deletion of Klf5 in adult mice resulted in morphologic changes that included a regenerative phenotype, impaired barrier function, and inflammation. Adult mutant mice exhibited defects in epithelial differentiation and migration. These changes were associated with reduced expression of Caudal type homeobox (Cdx) 1, Cdx2, and Eph and ephrin signaling proteins. Concomitantly, Wnt signaling to β-catenin was reduced. Proliferation in regenerative crypts was associated with increased expression of the progenitor cell marker Sox9. Deletion of Klf5 in the gut epithelium of mice demonstrated that KLF5 maintains epithelial proliferation, differentiation, and cell positioning along the crypt radial axis. Morphologic changes that occur with deletion of Klf5 are associated with disruption of canonical Wnt signaling and increased expression of Sox9.
    Gastroenterology 07/2011; 141(4):1302-13, 1313.e1-6. · 12.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inflammatory bowel disease increases the risks of colon cancer and colitis-associated cancer (CAC). Epithelial cell-derived matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 mediates inflammation during acute colitis and the cleavage and activation of the transcription factor Notch1, which prevents differentiation of progenitor cells into goblet cells. However, MMP-9 also protects against the development of CAC and acts as a tumor suppressor. We investigated the mechanisms by which MMP-9 protects against CAC in mice. C57/B6 wild-type mice were given a single dose of azoxymethane and 2 cycles of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS). Mice were also given the γ-secretase inhibitor difluorophenacetyl-l-alanyl-S-phenylglycine t-butyl ester (DAPT) or dimethyl sulfoxide (control) during each DSS cycle; they were killed on day 56. We analyzed embryonic fibroblasts isolated from wild-type and MMP-9-/- mice and HCT116 cells that were stably transfected with MMP-9. Wild-type mice were more susceptible to CAC following inhibition of Notch1 by DAPT, shown by increased numbers of tumors and level of dysplasia compared with controls. Inhibition of Notch1 signaling significantly reduced protein levels of active Notch1, p53, p21WAF1/Cip1, Bax-1, active caspase-3, as well as apoptosis, compared with controls. Similar results were observed in transgenic HCT116 cells and embryonic fibroblasts from MMP-9-/- mice on γ-radiation-induced damage of DNA. MMP-9 mediates Notch1 signaling via p53 to regulate apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, and inflammation. By these mechanisms, it might prevent CAC.
    Gastroenterology 06/2011; 141(4):1381-92. · 12.82 Impact Factor
  • Gastroenterology 01/2011; 140(5). · 12.82 Impact Factor
  • Amr Ghaleb, Beth B. McConnell, Vincent W. Yang
    Gastroenterology 01/2011; 140(5). · 12.82 Impact Factor
  • Gastroenterology 01/2011; 140(5). · 12.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5) is a transcription factor that promotes proliferation, is highly expressed in dividing crypt cells of the gastrointestinal epithelium, and is induced by various stress stimuli. We sought to determine the role of KLF5 in colonic inflammation and recovery by studying mice with dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis. Wild-type (WT) and Klf5(+/-) mice were given DSS in the drinking water to induce colitis. For recovery experiments, mice were given normal drinking water for 5 days after DSS administration. The extent of colitis was determined using established clinical and histological scoring systems. Immunohistochemical and immunoblotting analyses were used to examine proliferation, migration, and expression of the epidermal growth factor receptor. Klf5 expression was increased in colonic tissues of WT mice given DSS; induction of Klf5 was downstream of mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling. In DSS-induced colitis, Klf5(+/-) mice exhibited greater sensitivity to DSS than WT mice, with significantly higher clinical and histological colitis scores. In recovery experiments, Klf5(+/-) mice showed poor recovery, with continued weight loss and higher mortality than WT mice. Klf5(+/-) mice from the recovery period had reduced epithelial proliferation and cell migration at sites of ulceration compared to WT mice; these reductions correlated with reduced expression of epidermal growth factor receptor. Epithelial repair is an important aspect of recovery from DSS-induced colitis. The transcription factor KLF5 regulates mucosal healing through its effects on epithelial proliferation and migration.
    Gastroenterology 11/2010; 140(2):540-549.e2. · 12.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The zinc finger transcription factor, Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4), is expressed in the post-mitotic, differentiated epithelial cells lining the intestinal tract and exhibits a tumor suppressive effect on intestinal tumorigenesis. Here we report a role for KLF4 in maintaining homeostasis of intestinal epithelial cells. Mice with conditional ablation of the Klf4 gene from the intestinal epithelium were viable. However, both the rates of proliferation and migration of epithelial cells were increased in the small intestine of mutant mice. In addition, the brush-border alkaline phosphatase was reduced as was expression of ephrine-B1 in the small intestine, resulting in mispositioning of Paneth cells to the upper crypt region. In the colon of mutant mice, there was a reduction of the differentiation marker, carbonic anhydrase-1, and failure of differentiation of goblet cells. Mechanistically, deletion of Klf4 from the intestine resulted in activation of genes in the Wnt pathway and reduction in expression of genes encoding regulators of differentiation. Taken together, these data provide new insights into the function of KLF4 in regulating postnatal proliferation, migration, differentiation, and positioning of intestinal epithelial cells and demonstrate an essential role for KLF4 in maintaining normal intestinal epithelial homeostasis in vivo.
    Developmental Biology 11/2010; 349(2):310-20. · 3.64 Impact Factor
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    Beth B McConnell, Vincent W Yang
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    ABSTRACT: The Krüppel-like factor (KLF) family of transcription factors regulates diverse biological processes that include proliferation, differentiation, growth, development, survival, and responses to external stress. Seventeen mammalian KLFs have been identified, and numerous studies have been published that describe their basic biology and contribution to human diseases. KLF proteins have received much attention because of their involvement in the development and homeostasis of numerous organ systems. KLFs are critical regulators of physiological systems that include the cardiovascular, digestive, respiratory, hematological, and immune systems and are involved in disorders such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory conditions. Furthermore, KLFs play an important role in reprogramming somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and maintaining the pluripotent state of embryonic stem cells. As research on KLF proteins progresses, additional KLF functions and associations with disease are likely to be discovered. Here, we review the current knowledge of KLF proteins and describe common attributes of their biochemical and physiological functions and their pathophysiological roles.
    Physiological Reviews 10/2010; 90(4):1337-81. · 29.04 Impact Factor
  • James X Du, Beth B McConnell, Vincent W Yang
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    ABSTRACT: The zinc finger transcription factor, Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4), regulates numerous biological processes, including proliferation, differentiation, and embryonic stem cell self-renewal. Although the DNA sequence to which KLF4 binds is established, the mechanism by which KLF4 controls transcription is not well defined. Small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) is an important regulator of transcription. Here we show that KLF4 is both SUMOylated at a single lysine residue and physically interacts with SUMO-1 in a region that matches an acidic and hydrophobic residue-rich SUMO-interacting motif (SIM) consensus. The SIM in KLF4 is required for transactivation of target promoters in a SUMO-1-dependent manner. Mutation of either the acidic or hydrophobic residues in the SIM significantly impairs the ability of KLF4 to interact with SUMO-1, activate transcription, and inhibit cell proliferation. Our study provides direct evidence that SIM in KLF4 functions as a transcriptional activation domain. A survey of transcription factor sequences reveals that established transactivation domains of many transcription factors contain sequences highly related to SIM. These results, therefore, illustrate a novel mechanism by which SUMO interaction modulates the activity of transcription factors.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2010; 285(36):28298-308. · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • Gastroenterology 05/2010; 138(5). · 12.82 Impact Factor
  • Gastroenterology 05/2010; 138(5). · 12.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Both mutational inactivation of the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) tumor suppressor gene and activation of the KRAS oncogene are implicated in the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer. Mice harboring a germline ApcMin mutation or intestine-specific expression of the KRASV12 gene have been developed. Both mouse strains develop spontaneous intestinal tumors, including adenoma and carcinoma, though at a different age. The zinc finger transcription factor Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5) has previously been shown to promote proliferation of intestinal epithelial cells and modulate intestinal tumorigenesis. Here we investigated the in vivo effect of Klf5 heterozygosity on the propensity of ApcMin/KRASV12 double transgenic mice to develop intestinal tumors. At 12 weeks of age, ApcMin/KRASV12 mice had three times as many intestinal tumors as ApcMin mice. This increase in tumor number was reduced by 92% in triple transgenic ApcMin/KRASV12/Klf5+/- mice. The reduction in tumor number in ApcMin/KRASV12/Klf5+/- mice was also statistically significant compared to ApcMin mice alone, with a 75% decrease. Compared with ApcMin/KRASV12, tumors from both ApcMin/KRASV12/Klf5+/- and ApcMin mice were smaller. In addition, tumors from ApcMin mice were more distally distributed in the intestine as contrasted by the more proximal distribution in ApcMin/KRASV12 and ApcMin/KRASV12/Klf5+/- mice. Klf5 levels in the normal-appearing intestinal mucosa were higher in both ApcMin and ApcMin/KRASV12 mice but were attenuated in ApcMin/KRASV12/Klf5+/- mice. The levels of beta-catenin, cyclin D1 and Ki-67 were also reduced in the normal-appearing intestinal mucosa of ApcMin/KRASV12/Klf5+/- mice when compared to ApcMin/KRASV12 mice. Levels of pMek and pErk1/2 were elevated in the normal-appearing mucosa of ApcMin/KRASV12 mice and modestly reduced in ApcMin/KRASV12/Klf5+/- mice. Tumor tissues displayed higher levels of both Klf5 and beta-catenin, irrespective of the mouse genotype from which tumors were derived. Results of the current study confirm the cumulative effect of Apc loss and oncogenic KRAS activation on intestinal tumorigenesis. The drastic reduction in tumor number and size due to Klf5 heterozygosity in ApcMin/KRASV12 mice indicate a critical function of KLF5 in modulating intestinal tumor initiation and progression.
    Molecular Cancer 03/2010; 9:63. · 5.40 Impact Factor
  • Gastroenterology 01/2010; 138(5). · 12.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inactivation of the tumor suppressor adenomatous polyposis coli, with the resultant activation of beta-catenin, is the initiating event in the development of a majority of colorectal cancers. Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5), a proproliferative transcription factor, is highly expressed in the proliferating intestinal crypt epithelial cells. To determine whether KLF5 contributes to intestinal adenoma formation, we examined tumor burdens in Apc(Min/+) mice and Apc(Min/+)/Klf5(+/-) mice. Compared with Apc(Min/+) mice, Apc(Min/+)/Klf5(+/-) mice had a 96% reduction in the number of intestinal adenomas. Reduced tumorigenicity in the Apc(Min/+)/Klf5(+/-) mice correlated with reduced levels and nuclear localization of beta-catenin as well as reduced expression of two beta-catenin targets, cyclin D1 and c-Myc. In vitro studies revealed a physical interaction between KLF5 and beta-catenin that enhanced the nuclear localization and transcriptional activity of beta-catenin. Thus, KLF5 is necessary for the tumor-initiating activity of beta-catenin during intestinal adenoma formation in Apc(Min/+) mice, and reduced expression of KLF5 offsets the tumor-initiating activity of the Apc(Min) mutation by reducing the nuclear localization and activity of beta-catenin.
    Cancer Research 06/2009; 69(10):4125-33. · 9.28 Impact Factor
  • Gastroenterology 05/2009; 136(5). · 12.82 Impact Factor
  • Gastroenterology 05/2009; 136(5). · 12.82 Impact Factor
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    Beth B McConnell, Vincent W Yang
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic inflammatory disorders are often associated with an increased risk of developing cancer. A classic example of the connection between inflammation and cancer is the increased risk of colorectal cancer in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In this review, we discuss aspects of IBD that promote colorectal cancer and highlight key molecular mediators that contribute to cancer risk. Additionally, we report on progress in identifying molecular targets that may prove efficacious in blocking the progression of IBD-related inflammation to cancer.
    Current Colorectal Cancer Reports 04/2009; 5(2):69-74.
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    ABSTRACT: SUMOylation is a form of post-translational modification shown to control nuclear transport. Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5) is an important mediator of cell proliferation and is primarily localized to the nucleus. Here we show that mouse KLF5 is SUMOylated at lysine residues 151 and 202. Mutation of these two lysines or two conserved nearby glutamates results in the loss of SUMOylation and increased cytoplasmic distribution of KLF5, suggesting that SUMOylation enhances nuclear localization of KLF5. Lysine 151 is adjacent to a nuclear export signal (NES) that resembles a consensus NES. The NES in KLF5 directs a fused green fluorescence protein to the cytoplasm, binds the nuclear export receptor CRM1, and is inhibited by leptomycin and site-directed mutagenesis. SUMOylation facilitates nuclear localization of KLF5 by inhibiting this NES activity, and enhances the ability of KLF5 to stimulate anchorage-independent growth of HCT116 colon cancer cells. A survey of proteins whose nuclear localization is regulated by SUMOylation reveals that SUMOylation sites are frequently located in close proximity to NESs. A relatively common mechanism for SUMOylation to regulate nucleocytoplasmic transport may lie in the interplay between neighboring NES and SUMOylation motifs.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2008; 283(46):31991-2002. · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5) is a transcription factor that is highly expressed in proliferating crypt cells of the intestinal epithelium. KLF5 has a pro-proliferative effect in vitro and is induced by mitogenic and stress stimuli. To determine whether KLF5 is involved in mediating proliferative responses to intestinal stressors in vivo, we examined its function in a mouse model of transmissible murine colonic hyperplasia triggered by colonization of the mouse colon by the bacteria Citrobacter rodentium. Heterozygous Klf5 knockout (Klf5(+/-)) mice were generated from embryonic stem cells carrying an insertional disruption of the Klf5 gene. Klf5(+/-) mice or wild-type (WT) littermates were infected with C rodentium by oral gavage. At various time points postinfection, mice were killed and distal colons were harvested. Colonic crypt heights were determined morphometrically from sections stained with H&E. Frozen tissues were stained by immunofluorescence using antibodies against Klf5 and the proliferation marker, Ki67, to determine Klf5 expression and numbers of proliferating cells per crypt. Infection of WT mice with C rodentium resulted in a 2-fold increase in colonic crypt heights at 14 days postinfection and was accompanied by a 1.7-fold increase in Klf5 expression. Infection of Klf5(+/-) mice showed an attenuated induction of Klf5 expression, and hyperproliferative responses to C rodentium were reduced in the Klf5(+/-) animals as compared with WT littermates. Our study shows that Klf5 is a key mediator of crypt cell proliferation in the colon in response to pathogenic bacterial infection.
    Gastroenterology 04/2008; 134(4):1007-16. · 12.82 Impact Factor