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Cell Cycle. 2009 Mar 15;8(6):843-52. Epub 2009 Mar 22.

Let-7 and miR-200 microRNAs: guardians against pluripotency and cancer progression.

Author information

1
The Ben May Department for Cancer Research, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA. mpeter@uchicago.edu

Abstract

Micro (mi)RNAs are emerging as important regulators of cellular differentiation, their importance underscored by the fact that they are often dysregulated during carcinogenesis. Two evolutionary conserved families, let-7 and miR-200, regulate key differentiation processes during development. Loss of let-7 in cancer results in reverse embryogenesis and dedifferentiation, and miR-200 has been identified as a powerful regulator of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Recent findings have connected let-7 with stem cell maintenance and point at a connection between EMT and stem cell formation. A part of tumor progression can be viewed as a continuum of progressive dedifferentiation (EMT) with a cell at the endpoint that has stem cell-like properties. I propose that steps of this process are driven by specific changes in the expression of let-7 and miR-200 family members.

PMID:
19221491
PMCID:
PMC2688687
DOI:
10.4161/cc.8.6.7907
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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