Volume 30 Issue 10 - October 7, 2016 PDF
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Autophagy and microRNA in hepatitis B virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma
Shan-Ying Wu1, Sheng-Hui Lan1, and Hsiao-Sheng Liu1*
1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
 
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Over 350 million people in the world are the carriers of hepatitis B virus (HBV). The symptoms of HBV infection include cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). On average about 25% of infected patients, HBV infection further induces liver tumor formation. Intensive research efforts have been focused on the mechanisms by which HBV affects the host cell to promote viral replication and its pathogenesis. Many papers reported autophagy or miRNAs in the HBV-related tumorigenesis. However, few provide insights into the relationships among autophagy, miRNAs, HBV biogenesis and hepatocarcinogenesis. Increasing evidence reveals that both autophagy and microRNAs (miRNAs) participate in HBV replication and HBV-related liver tumor formation. In this review paper, the following subjects were summarized: (1) the mechanism by which HBV induces autophagy; (2) the effect of HBV-induced autophagy on HBV replication; (3) the relationship between autophagy and HBV in HBV-related liver tumor formation; (4) the mechanism by which miRNAs affects HBV replication; and (5) the regulation of miRNAs biogenesis by HBV. The emerging roles of miRNAs in HBV infection and how HBV affects miRNAs biogenesis were also discussed in this report. The knowledge gathered about autophagy and miRNAs in HBV replication and its pathogenesis will lead to the development of novel strategies against HBV infection and HBV-related HCC tumorigenesis (fig. 1).
Figure 1. The relationship between HBV-induced autophagy and HBV replication
HBV-induced autophagy regulates virus replication and maturation at different stages of HBV replication. Autophagy enhances HBV replication at the DNA replication stage. HBV-induced autophagy is required for viral envelopment. However, envelope proteins (HBs) could be eliminated via the autophagic degradation pathway.
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