[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT:
The let-7 family contains 12 members, which share identical seed regions, suggesting that they may target the same mRNAs. It is essential to develop a means that can regulate the functions of all members. Using a DNA synthesis technique, we have generated an anti-let-7 sponge aiming to modulate the function of all members. We found that products of the anti-let-7 construct could bind and inactivate all members of the let-7 family, producing decoy and decay effects. To test the role of the anti-let-7 sponge, we stably expressed the anti-let-7 construct in two types of cells, the breast carcinoma cells MT-1 and the oldest and most commonly used human cervical cancer cell line, HeLa cells. We found that expression of anti-let-7 increased cell survival, invasion and adhesion, which corroborate with known functions of let-7 family members. We further identified a novel target site across all species of the let-7 family in hyaluronan synthase 2 (HAS2). HAS2 overexpression produced similar effects as the anti-let-7 sponge. Silencing HAS2 expression by siRNAs produced opposite effects to anti-let-7 on cell survival and invasion. The ability of anti-let-7 to regulate multiple members of the let-7 family allows us to observe their multiple functions using a single reagent. This approach can be applied to other family members with conserved sequences.