Journal of Microbiology

, Volume 52, Issue 6, pp 445–451

The role of microRNAs in Hepatitis C Virus replication and related liver diseases

Minireview

DOI: 10.1007/s12275-014-4267-x

Cite this article as:
Lee, C.H., Kim, J.H. & Lee, SW. J Microbiol. (2014) 52: 445. doi:10.1007/s12275-014-4267-x

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a worldwide health problem and is one of the main causes of chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, only limited therapeutic options and no vaccines are currently available against HCV infection. Recent studies of microRNAs (miRNAs), which are able to regulate HCV replication and its related liver diseases by directly interacting with the HCV genome or indirectly controlling virus-associated host pathways, have broadened our understanding of the HCV life cycle. HCV utilizes host cellular miRNAs and modulates expression of miRNAs in infected hepatocytes for its infection and propagation. Moreover, such miRNAs directly or indirectly alter HCV replication efficiency and induce liver diseases including liver fibrosis, cirrhosis, or HCC. Representatively, miR-122 directly modulates the HCV life cycle by increasing HCV translation and genomic RNA stability. Recently, a phase IIa clinical trial with miravirsen, an LNA form of antimiR-122 oligonucleotides, showed significant reduction in serum HCV levels in patients chronically infected with HCV with no detectible evidence of resistance. In addition to miR-122, other miRNAs involved in the regulation of HCV propagation could be targeted in strategies to modulate HCV replication and pathogenesis. In this review, we summarize the features of miRNAs critical for HCV replication and HCV-mediated liver abnormalities and briefly discuss their potential application as therapeutic reagents for the treatment of HCV infection and its related diseases.

Keywords

hepatitis C virus liver disease microRNA therapeutics antagonist mimics 

Copyright information

© The Microbiological Society of Korea and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular Biology, Institute of Nanosensor and BiotechnologyDankook UniversityYonginRepublic of Korea

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