Background: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, noncoding RNA molecules of 20 to 22 nucleotides that regulate gene expression by binding to their 3' untranslated region (3'UTR). Increasing data implicate altered miRNA participation in the progress of cancer. We previously reported that CYP2J2 epoxygenase promotes human cancer phenotypes. But whether and how CYP2J2 is regulated by miRNA is not understood.
Methods and results: Using bioinformatics analysis, we found potential target sites for miRNA let-7b in 3'UTR of human CYP2J2. Luciferase and western blot assays revealed that CYP2J2 was regulated by let-7b. In addition, let-7b decreased the enzymatic activity of endogenous CYP2J2. Furthermore, let-7b may diminish cell proliferation and promote cell apoptosis of tumor cells via posttranscriptional repression of CYP2J2. Tumor xenografts were induced in nude mice by subcutaneous injection of MDA-MB-435 cells. The let-7b expression vector, pSilencer-let-7b, was injected through tail vein every 3 weeks. Let-7b significantly inhibited the tumor phenotype by targeting CYP2J2. Moreover, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blotting were used to determine the expression levels of let-7b and CYP2J2 protein from 18 matched lung squamous cell cancer and adjacent normal lung tissues; the expression level of CYP2J2 was inversely proportional to that of let-7b.
Conclusions: Our results demonstrated that the decreased expression of let-7b could lead to the high expression of CYP2J2 protein in cancerous tissues. These findings suggest that miRNA let-7b reduces CYP2J2 expression, which may contribute to inhibiting tumor phenotypes.