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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(9), 17378-17409; doi:10.3390/ijms140917378
Review

Emerging Roles of Small Epstein-Barr Virus Derived Non-Coding RNAs in Epithelial Malignancy

1
,
1
 and
1,2,*
1 Department of Anatomical and Cellular Pathology, State Key Laboratory in Oncology in South China, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China 2 Institute of Digestive Diseases, Li Ka-Shing Institute of Health Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 July 2013 / Revised: 1 August 2013 / Accepted: 13 August 2013 / Published: 23 August 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation by non-coding RNAs 2013)
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Abstract

Latent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection is an etiological factor in the progression of several human epithelial malignancies such as nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and a subset of gastric carcinoma. Reports have shown that EBV produces several viral oncoproteins, yet their pathological roles in carcinogenesis are not fully elucidated. Studies on the recently discovered of EBV-encoded microRNAs (ebv-miRNAs) showed that these small molecules function as post-transcriptional gene regulators and may play a role in the carcinogenesis process. In NPC and EBV positive gastric carcinoma (EBVaGC), 22 viral miRNAs which are located in the long alternative splicing EBV transcripts, named BamH1 A rightward transcripts (BARTs), are abundantly expressed. The importance of several miR-BARTs in carcinogenesis has recently been demonstrated. These novel findings enhance our understanding of the oncogenic properties of EBV and may lead to a more effective design of therapeutic regimens to combat EBV-associated malignancies. This article will review the pathological roles of miR-BARTs in modulating the expression of cancer-related genes in both host and viral genomes. The expression of other small non-coding RNAs in NPC and the expression pattern of miR-BARTs in rare EBV-associated epithelial cancers will also be discussed.
Keywords: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV); nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC); EBV-associated gastric carcinoma (EBVaGC); lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma (LELC) of the lung; lymphoepithelioma-like cholangiocarcinoma; BART; miRNAs; v-snoRNA1 Epstein-Barr virus (EBV); nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC); EBV-associated gastric carcinoma (EBVaGC); lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma (LELC) of the lung; lymphoepithelioma-like cholangiocarcinoma; BART; miRNAs; v-snoRNA1
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Lung, R.W.-M.; Tong, J.H.-M.; To, K.-F. Emerging Roles of Small Epstein-Barr Virus Derived Non-Coding RNAs in Epithelial Malignancy. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 17378-17409.

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