Lin28 and let-7 in cell metabolism and cancer
Malignant cells exhibit major metabolic alterations. The regulatory gene networks that regulate metabolism and the impact of these alterations on overall cellular fitness deserve further exploration. The let-7 microRNAs and their antagonists, the Lin28 RNA-binding proteins, are well-known for controlling the timing of embryonic development. This pathway has recently been shown to regulate glucose metabolism in adult mice and to reprogram metabolism during tissue injury and repair. In addition, many lines of evidence have established that Lin28 is an oncogene that drives tumorigenesis in part by suppressing let-7. The metabolic underpinnings of this oncogenic program are just beginning to be uncovered. Here, we will review the current understanding of how Lin28 exerts regenerative and oncogenic effects through metabolic mechanisms.