microRNA-7 inhibits the epidermal growth factor receptor and the Akt pathway and is down-regulated in glioblastoma.
microRNAs are noncoding RNAs inhibiting expression of numerous target genes, and a few have been shown to act as oncogenes or tumor suppressors. We show that microRNA-7 (miR-7) is a potential tumor suppressor in glioblastoma targeting critical cancer pathways. miR-7 potently suppressed epidermal growth factor receptor expression, and furthermore it independently inhibited the Akt pathway via targeting upstream regulators. miR-7 expression was down-regulated in glioblastoma versus surrounding brain, with a mechanism involving impaired processing. Importantly, transfection with miR-7 decreased viability and invasiveness of primary glioblastoma lines. This study establishes miR-7 as a regulator of major cancer pathways and suggests that it has therapeutic potential for glioblastoma.