Krüppel-like Factor 5 Plays an Important Role in the Pathogenesis of Chronic Pancreatitis

Maryam Alavi, Ana Mejia-Bautista, Meiyi Tang, Jela Bandovic, Avi Z. Rosenberg, Agnieszka B. Bialkowska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chronic pancreatitis results in the formation of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) and poses a risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Our previous study demonstrated that Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5) is necessary for forming acinar-to-ductal metaplasia (ADM) in acute pancreatitis. Here, we investigated the role of KLF5 in response to chronic injury in the pancreas. Human tissues originating from chronic pancreatitis patients showed increased levels of epithelial KLF5. An inducible genetic model combining the deletion of Klf5 and the activation of KrasG12D mutant expression in pancreatic acinar cells together with chemically induced chronic pancreatitis was used. The chronic injury resulted in increased levels of KLF5 in both control and KrasG12D mutant mice. Furthermore, it led to numerous ADM and PanIN lesions and extensive fibrosis in the KRAS mutant mice. In contrast, pancreata with Klf5 loss (with or without KrasG12D) failed to develop ADM, PanIN, or significant fibrosis. Furthermore, the deletion of Klf5 reduced the expression level of cytokines and fibrotic components such as Il1b, Il6, Tnf, Tgfb1, Timp1, and Mmp9. Notably, using ChIP-PCR, we showed that KLF5 binds directly to the promoters of Il1b, Il6, and Tgfb1 genes. In summary, the inactivation of Klf5 inhibits ADM and PanIN formation and the development of pancreatic fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5427
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2023


  • Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog
  • Krüppel-like factor 5
  • acinar-to-ductal metaplasia
  • pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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