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J Virol. 2010 Jan;84(1):666-70. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01156-09.

Modulation of hepatitis C virus RNA abundance and the isoprenoid biosynthesis pathway by microRNA miR-122 involves distinct mechanisms.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5124, USA.


MicroRNA 122 (miR-122) promotes hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA abundance through a direct interaction with the viral RNA and stimulates the mevalonate pathway in the animal liver. We found that overexpression of miR-122 enhanced viral RNA accumulation without affecting genes in the mevalonate pathway, such as the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMGCR) gene. However, inhibition of miR-122 decreased both HCV RNA and HMGCR RNA with little effects on the rates of HCV and HMGCR RNA synthesis. Loss of HCV RNA could not be restored by isoprenoid intermediate metabolites. Overall, these findings suggest that miR-122 modulates viral RNA abundance independently of its effect on isoprenoid metabolism.

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