Recent studies have suggested that noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) contribute to the pathogenesis and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). These RNA genes may be involved in various pathobiological processes such as cell proliferation, apoptosis, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis. Aberrant expression of ncRNA resulting from deregulated epigenetic, transcriptional, or posttranscriptional activity has been described in several studies. ncRNAs are comprised of a highly diverse group of transcripts that include microRNAs (miRNAs) and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) as well as several other types of RNA genes. Understanding the molecular mechanisms by which ncRNA contribute to hepatocarcinogenesis may enable the design of ncRNA-based therapeutics for HCC. In this review, the authors provide a perspective on therapeutic applications based on the emerging evidence of a contributory role of miRNAs and lncRNAs to the pathogenesis and progression of HCC. In addition, ncRNAs that are deregulated in expression in HCC may have utility as potential prognostic or diagnostic markers.
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