MicroRNA let-7 and viral infections: focus on mechanisms of action

Arash Letafati, Sajad Najafi, Mehran Mottahedi, Mohammad Karimzadeh, Ali Shahini, Setareh Garousi, Mohammad Abbasi-Kolli, Javid Sadri Nahand, Seyed Saeed Tamehri Zadeh, Michael R. Hamblin, Neda Rahimian, Mohammad Taghizadieh, Hamed Mirzaei

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are fundamental post-transcriptional modulators of several critical cellular processes, a number of which are involved in host defense mechanisms. In particular, miRNA let-7 functions as an essential regulator of the function and differentiation of both innate and adaptive immune cells. Let-7 is involved in several human diseases, including cancer and viral infections. Several viral infections have found ways to dysregulate the expression of miRNAs. Extracellular vesicles (EV) are membrane-bound lipid structures released from many types of human cells that can transport proteins, lipids, mRNAs, and miRNAs, including let-7. After their release, EVs are taken up by the recipient cells and their contents released into the cytoplasm. Let-7-loaded EVs have been suggested to affect cellular pathways and biological targets in the recipient cells, and can modulate viral replication, the host antiviral response, and the action of cancer-related viruses. In the present review, we summarize the available knowledge concerning the expression of let-7 family members, functions, target genes, and mechanistic involvement in viral pathogenesis and host defense. This may provide insight into the development of new therapeutic strategies to manage viral infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
JournalCellular and Molecular Biology Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Let-7
  • MicroRNAs
  • Regulatory role
  • Viral infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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