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The function of MicroRNA in hepatitis B virus-related liver diseases: from Dim to Bright

Kangkang Yu, Guangfeng Shi, Ning Li

Abstract

MicroRNAs represent a class of non-coding RNA molecules that negatively regulate gene expression either by repressing translation or by inducing degradation of messenger RNA. Studies have shown that, as regulators of gene expression, microRNAs are widely involved in various human diseases, including hepatitis B virus-related liver diseases. By modulating hepatitis B virus replication, regulating extracellular matrix formation, as well as silencing tumor suppressor genes, these small molecules are implicated in the development of chronic hepatitis, liver fibrosis/cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma caused by hepatitis B virus infection. In addition, current researches indicated a potential role of microRNA as diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets. In conclusion, microRNAs are promising tools in the diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis B virus -related liver diseases.

Key words. Small RNA., Chronic Hepatitis B., Hepatocellular carcinoma.

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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