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Curr Opin Virol. 2014 Aug;7:11-8. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2014.03.005. Epub 2014 Apr 11.

Hepatitis C virus and human miR-122: insights from the bench to the clinic.

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Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E5, Canada. Electronic address:
Department of Microbiology & Immunology, McGill University, Montréal, QC H3A 2B4, Canada. Electronic address:


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that function as part of RNA-induced silencing complexes that repress the expression of target genes. Over the past few years, miRNAs have been found to mediate complex regulation of a wide variety of mammalian viral infections, including Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Here, we focus on a highly abundant, liver-specific miRNA, miR-122. In a unique and unusual interaction, miR-122 binds to two sites in the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of the HCV genome and promotes viral RNA accumulation. We will discuss what has been learned about this important interaction to date, provide insights into how miR-122 is able to modulate HCV RNA accumulation, and how miR-122 might be exploited for antiviral intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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