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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 486407, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/486407
Review Article

MicroRNAs in Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Carcinogenesis, Progression, and Therapeutic Target

Division of Hepatogastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital-Kaohsiung Medical Center, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, 123 Ta Pei Road, Niao Sung Kaohsiung 833, Taiwan

Received 7 December 2013; Revised 16 February 2014; Accepted 12 March 2014; Published 2 April 2014

Academic Editor: Wei Mike Liu

Copyright © 2014 Chao-Hung Hung et al. 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.

Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third leading cause of death from cancer, with dismal outcomes and an increasing incidence worldwide. Hepatocarcinogenesis is a multistep process that progresses from chronic hepatitis through cirrhosis and/or dysplastic nodule to HCC. However, the detailed molecular pathogenesis remains unclear. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), small noncoding RNAs that regulate the translation of many genes, have emerged as key factors involved in several biological processes, including development, differentiation, and cell proliferation. Recent studies have uncovered the contribution of miRNAs to the cancer pathogenesis, as they can behave as oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. In addition, other studies have demonstrated their potential values in the clinical management of HCC patients as some miRNAs may be used as prognostic or diagnostic markers. In this review, we summarize current knowledge about the roles of miRNAs in carcinogenesis and progression of HCC. We also discuss the potential application of miRNAs as diagnostic biomarkers and their potential roles in the intervention of HCC.