Identification and function of human cytomegalovirus microRNAs

J Clin Virol. 2008 Mar;41(3):186-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2007.11.024.


microRNAs are an extensive class of non-coding genes that regulate gene expression through post-transcriptional repression. These small RNAs are evolutionarily conserved and are likely to be a basic mechanism of gene regulation present within most eukaryotic organisms. Over 100 viral miRNAs have been identified to date through a combination of bioinformatics and cloning studies. In this review we discuss the use of bioinformatics for the identification of HCMV miRNAs and also for the discovery of potential target transcripts. Such studies will enable us to define the functional role of viral miRNAs and gain a better understanding of viral gene regulation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytomegalovirus / genetics*
  • Cytomegalovirus / metabolism
  • Cytomegalovirus / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Viral*
  • Genome, Viral
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I* / genetics
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immediate-Early Proteins* / genetics
  • Immediate-Early Proteins* / metabolism
  • MicroRNAs* / genetics
  • MicroRNAs* / metabolism
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • RNA, Viral / metabolism
  • Viral Proteins* / genetics
  • Viral Proteins* / metabolism
  • Virus Latency


  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • IE1 protein, cytomegalovirus
  • Immediate-Early Proteins
  • MICB antigen
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Viral
  • Viral Proteins