PloS one

Let-7 Sensitizes KRAS Mutant Tumor Cells to Chemotherapy.

PMID 25946136


KRAS is the most commonly mutated oncogene in human cancers and is associated with poor prognosis and drug resistance. Let-7 is a family of tumor suppressor microRNAs that are frequently suppressed in solid tumors, where KRAS mutations are highly prevalent. In this study, we investigated the potential use of let-7 as a chemosensitizer. We found that let-7b repletion selectively sensitized KRAS mutant tumor cells to the cytotoxicity of paclitaxel and gemcitabine. Transfection of let-7b mimic downregulated the expression of mutant but not wild-type KRAS. Combination of let-7b mimic with paclitaxel or gemcitabine diminished MEK/ERK and PI3K/AKT signaling concurrently, triggered the onset of apoptosis, and reverted the epithelial-mesenchymal transition in KRAS mutant tumor cells. In addition, let-7b repletion downregulated the expression of β-tubulin III and ribonucleotide reductase subunit M2, two proteins known to mediate tumor resistance to paclitaxel and gemcitabine, respectively. Let-7 may represent a new class of chemosensitizer for the treatment of KRAS mutant tumors.