Wednesday 29 August 2007
The let-7 miRNA was originally discovered in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, where it regulates cell proliferation and differentiation, but subsequent work has shown that both its sequence and its function are highly conserved in mammals.
Results have now linked decreased let-7 expression to increased tumorigenicity and poor patient prognosis.
Moreover, during normal development, accumulation of let-7 can be prevented by LIN28, a promoter of pluripotency. Based on these findings, we propose that let-7 regulates ’stemness’ by repressing self-renewal and promoting differentiation in both normal development and cancer.