miRNA in hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors

  • Asahiro Morishita,

    1. Department of Gastroenterology and Neurology, Kagawa University School of Medicine, Kagawa, Japan
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  • Tsutomu Masaki

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Gastroenterology and Neurology, Kagawa University School of Medicine, Kagawa, Japan
    • Correspondence: Profesor Tsutomu Masaki, Department of Gastroenterology and Neurology, Kagawa University School of Medicine, 1750-1 Ikenobe, Miki-cho, Kida-gun, Kagawa 761-0793, Japan. Email: asahiro@med.kagawa-u.ac.jp

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Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Despite improvements in HCC therapy, the prognosis for HCC patients remains poor due to a high incidence of recurrence. An improved understanding of the pathogenesis of HCC development would facilitate the development of more effective outcomes for the diagnosis and treatment of HCC at earlier stages. miRNA are small, endogenous, non-coding, ssRNA that are 21–30 nucleotides in length and modulate the expression of various target genes at the post-transcriptional and translational levels. Aberrant expression of miRNA is common in various human malignancies and modulates cancer-associated genomic regions or fragile sites. As for the relationship between miRNA and HCC, several studies have demonstrated that the aberrant expression of specific miRNA can be detected in HCC cells and tissues. However, little is known about the mechanisms of miRNA-related cell proliferation and development. In this review, we summarize the central and potential roles of miRNA in the pathogenesis of HCC and elucidate new possibilities that may be useful as diagnostic and prognostic markers, as well as novel therapeutic targets in HCC.

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