The let-7 microRNA reduces tumor growth in mouse models of lung cancer

Cell Cycle. 2008 Mar 15;7(6):759-64. doi: 10.4161/cc.7.6.5834. Epub 2008 Mar 3.


MicroRNAs have been increasingly implicated in human cancer and interest has grown about the potential to use microRNAs to combat cancer. Lung cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer worldwide and lacks effective therapies. Here we have used both in vitro and in vivo approaches to show that the let-7 microRNA directly represses cancer growth in the lung. We find that let-7 inhibits the growth of multiple human lung cancer cell lines in culture, as well as the growth of lung cancer cell xenografts in immunodeficient mice. Using an established orthotopic mouse lung cancer model, we show that intranasal let-7 administration reduces tumor formation in vivo in the lungs of animals expressing a G12D activating mutation for the K-ras oncogene. These findings provide direct evidence that let-7 acts as a tumor suppressor gene in the lung and indicate that this miRNA may be useful as a novel therapeutic agent in lung cancer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae
  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor*
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Mice
  • MicroRNAs / administration & dosage
  • MicroRNAs / therapeutic use*


  • MicroRNAs
  • mirnlet7 microRNA, human