Krüppel-like factor 7 (KLF7), which belongs to the KLF family of zinc finger transcription factors, plays a critical role in regulating gene expression. It was reported that KLF7 overexpression was closely related to the progression of gastric cancer. However, the role of KLF7 in lung adenocarcinoma (LAC) has not been elucidated. The aim of our study is to investigate the expression pattern of KLF7 and explore whether the KLF7 expression is correlated with unfavorable clinical outcome of patients with LAC.
The protein and mRNA levels of KLF7 were examined in LAC tissues by using immunohistochemistry staining and quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, respectively. The prognostic role of KLF7 in patients with LAC was assessed using univariate and multivariate analyses. Clinical outcomes were evaluated by Kaplan-Meier analysis and logrank test. The effects of KLF7 on lung cancer cells were investigated through cellular experiments.
KLF7 expression was elevated in LAC tissues compared with adjacent normal tissues. High protein level of KLF7 was correlated with larger tumor size, positive lymph node metastasis, and advanced TNM stage. Moreover, patients with LAC with higher expression level of KLF7 had poorer overall survival, and KLF7 was identified as an unfavorable independent prognosis factor. Knockdown of KLF7 can suppress the proliferation and invasion abilities of cancer cells.
Our studies revealed that high KLF7 expression level was significantly associated with the poorer clinical outcomes of patients with LAC, indicating the potential role of KLF7 as a novel prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target.

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