miRNAs in the pathogenesis of oncogenic human viruses

Cancer Lett. 2011 Jun 28;305(2):186-99. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2010.08.018. Epub 2010 Oct 12.


Tumor viruses are a class of pathogens with well established roles in the development of malignant diseases. Numerous bodies of work have highlighted miRNAs (microRNAs) as critical regulators of tumor pathways and it is clear that the dysregulation of cellular miRNA expression can promote tumor formation. Tumor viruses encode their own miRNAs and/or manipulate the expression of cellular miRNAs to modulate their host cell environment, thereby facilitating their respective infection cycles. The modulation of these miRNA responsive pathways, however, often influences certain signal transduction cascades in ways that favor tumorigenesis. In this review, we discuss the roles of virally-encoded and virally-regulated cellular miRNAs in the respective viral life cycles and in virus associated pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Silencing
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / metabolism
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / metabolism
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / virology
  • Oncogenic Viruses / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Virus Diseases / metabolism*


  • MIRN146 microRNA, human
  • MIRN155 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs