Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Human Genetics

First Advisor

Joyce Lloyd

Second Advisor

Rita Shiang

Third Advisor

David Williams


Krüppel like factors (KLFs) are a family of 17 proteins whose main function is gene regulation by binding to DNA elements in the promoters of various genes. KLF transcription factors recognize CACCC-elements and act as activators or repressors of the gene expression. Among the 17 family members, KLF1, KLF2, and KLF4 share high homology to each other. KLF1 is the founding member of the family and is an erythroid-specific protein. KLF2 is expressed in erythroid, endothelial, and other cells. KLF4 is expressed in endothelial, smooth muscle, and other cells. In this thesis, the functions of these KLFs were reviewed in the context of subjects related to erythropoiesis and cardiovascular development. A mouse model lacking KLF1, KLF2, and KLF4 was used to investigate whether these genes have overlapping functions in regulating the embryonic β-globin genes during early embryogenesis. Quantitative RT-PCR assays were used to measure the expression level of Ey- and βh1- globin mRNA at embryonic day 9.5 (E9.5). It was found that KLF1-/-KLF2-/- and KLF1-/-KLF2-/-KLF4-/- embryos express significantly decreased amounts of Ey- and βh1-globin genes when compared to WT and KLF4-/- embryos. There were no significant changes in the levels of Ey- and βh1-globin mRNA between KLF1-/-KLF2-/- and KLF1-/-KLF2-/-KLF4-/- embryos. It was demonstrated here that KLF1 does not regulate KLF2 in mouse erythroid cells at E10.5.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2009