Background: Lin28 regulates stem cell biology and developmental timing. At the molecular level Lin28 inhibits the biogenesis of the micro RNA let-7 and directly controls the transcription and translation of several genes. In Xenopus, Lin28 overexpression delays metamorphosis and affects the expression of genes of the thyroid hormone (TH) axis. The TH carrier albumin, synthesized by the liver, is down-regulated in limbs and tail after Lin28 overexpression. The molecular mechanisms underlying the interaction between Lin28, let-7, and the hypothalamus–pituitary–thyroid gland (HPT) axis are unknown. Results: We found that precursor and mature forms of let-7 increase during Xenopus metamorphosis. In the liver, lin28b is down-regulated and albumin is up-regulated during metamorphosis. Overexpression of a truncated form of Lin28a (Lin28aΔC), which has been shown not to interact with RNA helicase A to regulate translation, delays metamorphosis, indicating that the translational regulation domain is not required to inhibit the HPT axis. Importantly, both full length Lin28a and Lin28aΔC block the increase of albumin mRNA in the liver independently of changes in TH signaling. Conclusions: These results suggest that Lin28 delays metamorphosis through regulation of let-7 and that the decrease of the TH carrier albumin is one of the early changes after Lin28 overexpression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology