MicroRNA: implications in HIV, a brief overview

J Neurovirol. 2011 Oct;17(5):416-23. doi: 10.1007/s13365-011-0046-1. Epub 2011 Jul 23.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are 20-22 nucleotide length noncoding RNA molecules that represent key regulators of many normal cellular functions. miRNAs undergo two processing steps which transform a long primary transcript into the mature miRNA. Available literatures demonstrate the association between alterations in the expression of miRNAs and the progression of numerous human disorders. Even though significant advances have been made, many fundamental questions about their expression and function still remain unanswered. Identifying factors that block the negative action of drugs of abuse on the miRNAs could help in identifying new therapeutic strategies. In this review, we briefly discuss the importance of miRNAs on HIV, strategies used by virus to avoid the cells' antiviral miRNA defenses, and how HIV might control and regulate host cell genes by encoding viral miRNAs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Silencing
  • HIV / genetics
  • HIV / metabolism*
  • HIV Infections / genetics*
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs / pharmacology
  • MicroRNAs / drug effects
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • MicroRNAs / isolation & purification
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • RNA, Viral / genetics*
  • Virus Latency


  • Illicit Drugs
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Viral