MicroRNA let-7b regulates genomic balance by targeting Aurora B kinase

Jenni Heidi Eveliina Mäki-Jouppila, Sofia Pruikkonen, Mahesh Balasaheb Tambe, Miriam Ragle Aure, Tuuli Halonen, Anna-Leena Salmela, Leena Laine, Anne-Lise Børresen-Dale, Marko Johannes Kallio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The let-7 microRNA (miRNA) family has been implicated in the regulation of diverse cellular processes and disease pathogenesis. In cancer, loss-of-function of let-7 miRNAs has been linked to tumorigenesis via increased expression of target oncogenes. Excessive proliferation rate of tumor cells is often associated with deregulation of mitotic proteins. Here, we show that let-7b contributes to the maintenance of genomic balance via targeting Aurora B kinase, a key regulator of the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC). Our results indicate that let-7b binds to Aurora B kinase 3'UTR reducing mRNA and protein expression of the kinase. In cells, excess let-7b induced mitotic defects characteristic to Aurora B perturbation including increased rate of polyploidy and multipolarity, and premature SAC inactivation that leads to forced exit from chemically induced mitotic arrest. Moreover, the frequency of aneuploid HCT-116 cells was significantly increased upon let-7b overexpression compared to controls. Interestingly, together with a chemical Aurora B inhibitor, let-7b had an additive effect on polyploidy induction in HeLa cells. In breast cancer patients, reduced let-7b expression was found to be associated with increased Aurora B expression in grade 3 tumors. Furthermore, let-7b was found downregulated in the most aggressive forms of breast cancer determined by clinicopathological parameters. Together, our findings suggest that let-7b contributes to the fidelity of cell division via regulation of Aurora B. Moreover, the loss of let-7b in aggressive tumors may drive tumorigenesis by up-regulation of Aurora B and other targets of the miRNA, which further supports the role of let-7b in tumor suppression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1056-1070
JournalMolecular Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • let-7b
  • mitosis
  • microRNA
  • Aurora B
  • aneuploidy


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