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World J Gastroenterol. 2013 Nov 28;19(44):7836-45. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i44.7836.

Non-coding RNAs in hepatitis C-induced hepatocellular carcinoma: dysregulation and implications for early detection, diagnosis and therapy.

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Weihong Hou, Herbert L Bonkovsky, the Liver, Digestive and Metabolic Disorders Laboratory, and the Liver-Biliary-Pancreatic Center, Cannon Research Center, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC 28203, United States.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of main causes of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and the prevalence of HCV-associated HCC is on the rise worldwide. It is particularly important and helpful to identify potential markers for screening and early diagnosis of HCC among high-risk individuals with chronic hepatitis C, and to identify target molecules for the prevention and treatment of HCV-associated-HCC. Small non-coding RNAs, mainly microRNAs (miRNAs), and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) with size greater than 200 nucleotides, are likely to play important roles in a variety of biological processes, including development and progression of HCC. For the most part their underlying mechanisms of action remain largely unknown. In recent years, with the advance of high-resolution of microarray and application of next generation sequencing techniques, a significant number of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) associated with HCC, particularly caused by HCV infection, have been found to be differentially expressed and to be involved in pathogenesis of HCV-associated HCC. In this review, we focus on recent studies of ncRNAs, especially miRNAs and lncRNAs related to HCV-induced HCC. We summarize those ncRNAs aberrantly expressed in HCV-associated HCC and highlight the potential uses of ncRNAs in early detection, diagnosis and therapy of HCV-associated HCC. We also discuss the limitations of recent studies, and suggest future directions for research in the field. miRNAs, lncRNAs and their target genes may represent new candidate molecules for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HCC in patients with HCV infection. Studies of the potential uses of miRNAs and lncRNAs as diagnostic tools or therapies are still in their infancy.


Hepatitis C virus; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Long non-coding RNAs; MicroRNA; Non-coding RNAs

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