MicroRNAs are short (21-23 nucleotides), noncoding RNAs that typically silence posttranscriptional gene expression through interaction with target messenger RNAs. Currently, miRNAs have been identified in almost all studied multicellular eukaryotes in the plant and animal kingdoms. Additionally, recent studies reported that miRNAs can also be encoded by certain single-cell eukaryotes and by viruses. The vast majority of viral miRNAs are encoded by the herpesviruses family. These DNA viruses including Epstein-Barr virus encode their own miRNAs and/or manipulate the expression of cellular miRNAs to facilitate respective infection cycles. Modulation of the control pathways of miRNAs expression is often involved in the promotion of tumorigenesis through a specific cascade of transduction signals. Notably, latent infection with Epstein-Barr virus is considered liable of causing several types of malignancies, including the majority of gastric carcinoma cases detected worldwide. In this review, we describe the role of the Epstein-Barr virus in gastric carcinogenesis, summarizing the functions of the Epstein-Barr virus-encoded viral proteins and related epigenetic alterations as well as the roles of Epstein-Barr virus-encoded and virally modulated cellular miRNAs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology