MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA species that can bind to both untranslated and coding regions of target mRNAs, causing their degradation or post-transcriptional modification. Currently, over 2500 miRNAs have been identified in the human genome. Burgeoning evidence suggests that dysregulation of human miRNAs can play a role in the pathogenesis of a variety of diseases, including cancer. In contrast, only a small subset of human miRNAs has been functionally validated in the pathogenesis of oncogenic viruses, in particular, Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). KSHV is the etiologic agent of several human cancers, such as primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) and Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS), which are mostly seen in acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients or other immuno-suppressed subpopulation. This review summarizes recent literature outlining mechanisms for KSHV/viral proteins regulation of cellular miRNAs contributing to viral pathogenesis, as well as recent findings about the unique signature of miRNAs induced by KSHV infection or KSHV-related malignancies.
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