Bachelor of Arts, Carleton College (2009)
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Michigan Ann Arbor (2016)
Nirao Shah, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Krüppel-like factor 9 (Klf9) is a zinc finger transcription factor that functions in neural cell differentiation, but little is known about its genomic targets or mechanism of action in neurons.We used the mouse hippocampus-derived neuronal cell line HT22 to identify genes regulated by Klf9, and we validated our findings in mouse hippocampus. We engineered HT22 cells to express a Klf9 transgene under control of the tetracycline repressor, and used RNA sequencing to identify genes modulated by Klf9. We found 217 genes repressed and 21 induced by Klf9. We also engineered HT22 cells to co-express biotin ligase and a Klf9 fusion protein containing an N-terminal biotin ligase recognition peptide. Using chromatin-streptavidin precipitation (ChSP) sequencing we identified 3,514 genomic regions where Klf9 associated. Seventy-five percent of these were within 1 kb of transcription start sites, and Klf9 associated in chromatin with 60% of the repressed genes. We analyzed the promoters of several repressed genes containing Klf9 ChSP peaks using transient transfection reporter assays and found that Klf9 repressed promoter activity, which was abolished after mutation of Sp/Klf-like motifs. Knockdown or knockout of Klf9 in HT22 cells caused dysregulation of Klf9 target genes. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed that Klf9 associated in chromatin from mouse hippocampus with genes identified by ChSP sequencing on HT22 cells, and expression of Klf9 target genes was dysregulated in the hippocampus of neonatal Klf9-null mice. Gene ontology analysis revealed that Klf9 genomic targets include genes involved in cystokeletal remodeling, Wnt signaling and inflammation.We have identified genomic targets of Klf9 in hippocampal neurons and created a foundation for future studies on how it functions in chromatin, and regulates neuronal morphology and survival across the lifespan.
View details for DOI 10.1186/s12864-017-3640-7
View details for Web of Science ID 000400618700005
View details for PubMedID 28407733