Published online Sep 27, 2013. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v5.i9.479
Revised: July 31, 2013
Accepted: August 16, 2013
Published online: September 27, 2013
Core tip: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the major cause of chronic liver disease that gradually progresses from chronic hepatitis to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) during the course of infection. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNA molecules and have the ability to regulate gene expression by targeting mRNA degradation or translational repression. miRNAs regulate HCV life cycle either by supporting viral replication or by inhibiting interferon signaling pathway. Several miRNAs play important roles in HCV related inflammation, fibrosis and HCC development. This review focuses on the involvement of miRNA in HCV life cycle and virus mediated liver disease progression, emerging role of circulating miRNAs and exploitation of miRNA as alternative therapeutic approach for HCV infection.