Liver-specific microRNA-122: Biogenesis and function

RNA Biol. 2012 Feb;9(2):137-42. doi: 10.4161/rna.18827. Epub 2012 Feb 1.


microRNA-122 (miR-122) was one of the first examples of a tissue-specific miRNA. It is highly expressed in liver, where it constitutes 70% of the total miRNA pool. miR-122 expression is specific to the vertebrate lineage, where the sequence of the mature miRNA is completely conserved. miR-122 is a target for extensive study due to its association with cholesterol metabolism and hepatocellular carcinoma, and its important role in promoting hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication. This review will discuss the biogenesis and function of miR-122.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Hepacivirus / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • MicroRNAs / chemistry
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Organ Specificity / genetics
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • MIRN122 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs