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J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5(3), 30; doi:10.3390/jcm5030030

Circulating microRNAs as Potential Biomarkers in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Hepatocellular Carcinoma

1
Research Institute for Medicines (iMed.ULisboa), Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-003 Lisbon, Portugal
2
Department of Biochemistry and Human Biology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-003 Lisbon, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Rajagopal N. Aravalli
Received: 25 November 2015 / Revised: 26 January 2016 / Accepted: 23 February 2016 / Published: 3 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MicroRNAs: Novel Biomarkers for Liver Diseases)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [267 KB, uploaded 3 March 2016]

Abstract

Obesity and metabolic syndrome are growing epidemics worldwide and greatly responsible for many liver diseases, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD often progresses to cirrhosis, end-stage liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common primary liver cancer and one of the leading causes for cancer-related deaths globally. Currently available tools for the diagnosis of NAFLD staging and progression towards HCC are largely invasive and of limited accuracy. In light of the need for more specific and sensitive noninvasive molecular markers, several studies have assessed the potential of circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) as biomarkers of liver injury and hepatocarcinogenesis. Indeed, extracellular miRNAs are very stable in the blood, can be easily quantitated and are differentially expressed in response to different pathophysiological conditions. Although standardization procedures and larger, independent studies are still necessary, miRNAs constitute promising, clinically-useful biomarkers for the NAFLD-HCC spectrum. View Full-Text
Keywords: microRNA; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; hepatocellular carcinoma; biomarker; serum; plasma; liver microRNA; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; hepatocellular carcinoma; biomarker; serum; plasma; liver
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Afonso, M.B.; Rodrigues, P.M.; Simão, A.L.; Castro, R.E. Circulating microRNAs as Potential Biomarkers in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Hepatocellular Carcinoma. J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5, 30.

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