As a potential tumour suppressor, miR-138 has pleiotropic biological functions in various cancers. Researchers from the Beijing Institute of Basic Medical Sciences have previously reported p53-mediated activation of miR-138 in human non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. In their recent study, they found that miR-138 specifically targeted AGO2, which affects the stability and maturation of miR-130b. Decreased expression of miR-130b promoted the expression of GADD45A and resulted in the G2/M phase arrest and proliferation inhibition in human NSCLC cells.
These results suggest that p53 could alternatively upregulate GADD45A in human NSCLC cells through a post-transcriptional pathway in which miR-138 is involved.