Emerging roles of microRNA in the intracellular signaling networks of hepatocellular carcinoma
Article first published online: 17 FEB 2011
© 2011 Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Foundation and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 26, Issue 3, pages 437–449, March 2011
How to Cite
Law, P. T.-Y. and Wong, N. (2011), Emerging roles of microRNA in the intracellular signaling networks of hepatocellular carcinoma. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 26: 437–449. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2010.06512.x
- Issue published online: 17 FEB 2011
- Article first published online: 17 FEB 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 28 SEP 2010 06:37PM EST
- Accepted for publication 6 September 2010.
- cell cycle;
- hepatocellular carcinoma;
- receptor tyrosine kinase;
- transforming growth factor-β
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs of 19–23 nucleotides that negatively regulate gene expression through binding to the 3′-untranslated regions of target messenger RNAs (mRNAs). Although the miRNA family constitutes only a minor fraction of the human genome, they hold fundamental importance in diverse physiological and developmental processes due to their pleiotropic effects on the post-transcriptional regulation of many vital genes. This class of regulatory RNAs has also emerged as important players in carcinogenesis; most, if not all, cancer types have abnormal miRNA expression patterns. In hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), miRNA dysregulation plays a key role in mediating the pathogenicity of several etiologic risk factors and, more importantly, they promote a number of cancer-inducing signaling pathways. Recent studies have also demonstrated their potential values in the clinical management of HCC patients as some miRNAs may be used as prognostic or diagnostic markers. The significance of miRNAs in liver carcinogenesis emphasizes their values as therapeutic targets, while technological advances in the delivery of miRNA has shed new possibilities for their use as novel therapeutic agents against HCC.