Hepatitis B virus promotes oncogenesis through microRNA modulation

Viruses prompt oncogenic transformation by genetically altering infected cells. Several recent studies have demonstrated that viruses alter the expression of microRNAs, non-coding RNA molecules that can block the expression of target genes.

In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Xiaoje Xu and colleagues at the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology report that miR-148a is repressed by hepatitis B virus (HBV) X protein (HBx) to promote growth and metastasis of liver cancer.

In normal liver cells, miR-148a represses the expression of the oncogenic protein HPIP, but the prevents expression of miR-148a, leading to increased levels of HPIP and subsequent oncogenic transformation.

This study demonstrates that a cancer-associated virus promotes carcinogenesis through direct manipulation of a microRNA.

More information: Hepatitis B virus X protein represses miRNA-148a to enhance tumorigenesis, Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2013.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Micro-RNA's contribute to risk for panic disorder

Mar 24, 2011

Studies in twin pairs suggest that 40% of the risk for panic disorder is heritable, yet the manner in which genes contribute to the risk for panic disorder is far from clear. To date, variations in a growing number of genes ...

MicroRNA controls expression of oncogenes

Jun 09, 2008

A new study demonstrates that microRNAs can modulate the expression of well known tumor-specific oncogenic translocation proteins and may play a significant role in some human cancers. The research, published by Cell Press ...

Useful biomarkers for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

Jan 25, 2011

A research team from China investigated the expression profile of miRNA in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). They found that miRNAs were deregulated and miR-143 and miR-145 were downregulated in ESCC.

Recommended for you

Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

1 hour ago

As Africa's leaders meet in Ethiopia to discuss the Ebola crisis, expectations of firm action will be tempered by criticism over the continent's poor record in the early stages of the epidemic.

Second bird flu case confirmed in Canada

17 hours ago

The husband of a Canadian who was diagnosed earlier this week with bird flu after returning from a trip to China has also tested positive for the virus, health officials said Friday.

What exactly is coronavirus?

Jan 30, 2015

The conflicts in Syria and Iraq are straining public health systems and public health efforts meant to prevent and detect the spread of infectious diseases. This is generating a "perfect storm" of conditions for outbreaks. Among the infections raising concern is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, caused by a type of coronavirus, which emerged in 2012. ...

Scientists find Ebola virus is mutating

Jan 30, 2015

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers working at Institut Pasteur in France have found that the Ebola virus is mutating "a lot" causing concern in the African countries where the virus has killed over eight thous ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.