KLF5 Is Induced by FOXO1 and Causes Oxidative Stress and Diabetic Cardiomyopathy

Ioannis D. Kyriazis, Matthew Hoffman, Lea Gaignebet, Anna Maria Lucchese, Eftychia Markopoulou, Dimitra Palioura, Chao Wang, Thomas D. Bannister, Melpo Christofidou-Solomidou, Shin Ichi Oka, Junichi Sadoshima, Walter J. Koch, Ira J. Goldberg, Vincent W. Yang, Agnieszka B. Bialkowska, Georgios Kararigas, Konstantinos Drosatos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Rationale: Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DbCM) is a major complication in type-1 diabetes, accompanied by altered cardiac energetics, impaired mitochondrial function, and oxidative stress. Previous studies indicate that type-1 diabetes is associated with increased cardiac expression of KLF5 (Krüppel-like factor-5) and PPARα (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor) that regulate cardiac lipid metabolism. Objective: In this study, we investigated the involvement of KLF5 in DbCM and its transcriptional regulation. Methods and Results: KLF5 mRNA levels were assessed in isolated cardiomyocytes from cardiovascular patients with diabetes and were higher compared with nondiabetic individuals. Analyses in human cells and diabetic mice with cardiomyocyte-specific FOXO1 (Forkhead box protein O1) deletion showed that FOXO1 bound directly on the KLF5 promoter and increased KLF5 expression. Diabetic mice with cardiomyocyte-specific FOXO1 deletion had lower cardiac KLF5 expression and were protected from DbCM. Genetic, pharmacological gain and loss of KLF5 function approaches and AAV (adeno-associated virus)-mediated Klf5 delivery in mice showed that KLF5 induces DbCM. Accordingly, the protective effect of cardiomyocyte FOXO1 ablation in DbCM was abolished when KLF5 expression was rescued. Similarly, constitutive cardiomyocyte-specific KLF5 overexpression caused cardiac dysfunction. KLF5 caused oxidative stress via direct binding on NADPH oxidase (NOX)4 promoter and induction of NOX4 (NADPH oxidase 4) expression. This was accompanied by accumulation of cardiac ceramides. Pharmacological or genetic KLF5 inhibition alleviated superoxide formation, prevented ceramide accumulation, and improved cardiac function in diabetic mice. Conclusions: Diabetes-mediated activation of cardiomyocyte FOXO1 increases KLF5 expression, which stimulates NOX4 expression, ceramide accumulation, and causes DbCM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-357
Number of pages23
JournalCirculation research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 5 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


  • NADPH oxidases
  • ceramides
  • diabetic cardiomyopathy
  • forkhead box protein O1
  • oxidative stress
  • peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors


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