KSHV microRNAs

miRNA miRNAs play significant roles in different diseases. By binding to target genes, miRNAs post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression. During viral infections, miRNAs manipulate the activities of viruses and host cells. Some viral miRNAs mimic cellular miRNAs, and interfere with cellular activities.

Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) encodes 25 mature miRNAs and all play essential roles in the viral life cycle and cellular activities. Recent studies have focused on the roles of KSHV miRNAs in KSHV induced-tumorigenesis and KS development. Identification of the targets, and delineation of the functions of KSHV miRNAs, could provide novel strategies for treatment and prevention of KSHV-associated malignancies.


KSHV microRNAs: Tricks of the Devil. Trends Microbiol. March 02 2017 doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2017.02.002
Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is the etiologic agent of Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS), a vascular tumor frequently found in immunodeficient individuals. KSHV encodes 12 pre-microRNAs (pre-miRNAs), which are processed into 25 mature microRNAs (miRNAs). KSHV miRNAs maintain KSHV latency, enhance angiogenesis and dissemination of the infected cells, and interfere with the host immune system by regulating viral and cellular gene expression, ultimately contributing to KS development. This review describes the biogenesis of miRNAs and recent advances in defining the roles and mechanisms of action of KSHV miRNAs in KS development.

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