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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

334 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-852
Number of pages10
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2009


  • EMT
  • MicroRNAs
  • Pluripotency
  • Stem cells
  • Tumor initiating cells
  • Tumor progression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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