LIN28: A Stem Cell Factor with a Key Role in Pediatric Tumor Formation

Ilana Carmel-Gross, Naomi Bollag, Leah Armon, Achia Urbach

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Differentiation and development are normally unidirectional processes in which progenitor/stem cells differentiate into more mature cells. Transformation of adult cells into cancer cells is accompanied in many cases by dedifferentiation of the adult cell, while differentiation failure of progenitor cells can result in the formation of unique type of cancers called pediatric cancer. LIN28A and its paralog LIN28B are pluripotent genes that are expressed mainly in stem/progenitor cells. Since the first identification of LIN28 in mammals, numerous studies demonstrated the general oncogenic features of these genes. In this review, we emphasize the unique role of LIN28 in pediatric tumor formation. We show, based on comprehensive literature screen and analysis of published microarray data, that LIN28 expression in pediatric tumors is even more common than in adult tumors, and discuss the possibility that in the case of pediatric cancers, LIN28 acts by preventing normal development/differentiation rather than by transformation of mature cells into cancer cells. Overall, this review highlights the role of LIN28 as a bridge point between embryonic development, stem cell biology, and cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-377
Number of pages11
JournalStem Cells and Development
Issue number5
Early online date22 Dec 2015
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright 2016, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


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