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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

Volume 19, Issue 6, 1 June 2015, Pages 1357-1365.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1111/jcmm.12522

Copyright © 2015 The Authors.


Let-7 miRNAs act as tumour suppressors by directly binding to the 3'UTRs of downstream gene products. The regulatory role of let-7 in downstream gene expression has gained much interest in the cancer research community, as it controls multiple biological functions and determines cell fates. For example, one target of the let-7 family is cyclin D1, which promotes G0/S cell cycle progression and oncogenesis, was correlated with endoribonuclease DICER1, another target of let-7. Down-regulated let-7 has been identified in many types of tumours, suggesting a feedback loop may exist between let-7 and cyclin D1. A potential player in the proposed feedback relationship is Dicer, a central regulator of miRNA expression through sequence-specific silencing. We first identified that DICER1 is the key downstream gene for cyclin D1-induced let-7 expression. In addition, we found that let-7 miRNAs expression decreased because of the p53-induced cell death response, with deregulated cyclin D1. Our results also showed that cyclin D1 is required for Nutlin-3 and TAX-induced let-7 expression in cancer repression and the cell death response. For the first time, we provide evidence that let-7 and cyclin D1 form a feedback loop in regulating therapy response of cancer cells and cancer stem cells, and importantly, that alteration of let-7 expression, mainly caused by cyclin D1, is a sensitive indicator for better chemotherapies response.

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