Lin Zhang, MD
University of Pennsylvania
Reconstruction of the Heterochronic Pathway for Ovarian Cancer Treatment
The heterochronic pathway orchestrates the timing of cell divisions and fates during development. Its core elements, LIN28 and the microRNA let-7, form bistable switches via a double-negative regulatory loop. Dr. Zhang has previously reported that let-7 is downregulated in epithelial ovarian cancer and functions as a critical tumor suppressor. A systematic review shows that let-7 is the microRNA that is most frequently and significantly associated with outcomes in ovarian cancer. Importantly, let-7 replacement therapy has been successfully tested in preclinical animal models. Thus, Dr. Zhang proposes that reconstruction of the heterochronic pathway is a novel strategy for epithelial ovarian cancer treatment.