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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016, Article ID 6021934, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/6021934
Review Article

Role of Viral miRNAs and Epigenetic Modifications in Epstein-Barr Virus-Associated Gastric Carcinogenesis

1Epidemiology Unit, National Cancer Institute of Naples “G. Pascale Foundation”, IRCCS, 80131 Naples, Italy
2Department of Onco-Hematology, IRCCS, Cancer Referral Center of Basilicata, 85028 Rionero in Vulture, Italy
3Department of Pharmacy, University of Salerno, Fisciano, 84084 Salerno, Italy
4Department of Experimental Medicine II, University of Naples, 81055 Naples, Italy
5Scientific Direction, National Cancer Institute “G. Pascale Foundation”, IRCCS, 80131 Naples, Italy
6Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Salerno, Baronissi, 84081 Salerno, Italy
7Animal Facility Unit, National Cancer Institute of Naples “G. Pascale Foundation”, IRCCS, 80131 Naples, Italy
8Division of Abdominal Surgical Oncology, Hepatobiliary Unit, National Cancer Institute “G. Pascale Foundation”, IRCCS, 80131 Naples, Italy

Received 23 October 2015; Revised 12 January 2016; Accepted 14 January 2016

Academic Editor: Denis Delic

Copyright © 2016 Aldo Giudice 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

MicroRNAs are short (21–23 nucleotides), noncoding RNAs that typically silence posttranscriptional gene expression through interaction with target messenger RNAs. Currently, miRNAs have been identified in almost all studied multicellular eukaryotes in the plant and animal kingdoms. Additionally, recent studies reported that miRNAs can also be encoded by certain single-cell eukaryotes and by viruses. The vast majority of viral miRNAs are encoded by the herpesviruses family. These DNA viruses including Epstein-Barr virus encode their own miRNAs and/or manipulate the expression of cellular miRNAs to facilitate respective infection cycles. Modulation of the control pathways of miRNAs expression is often involved in the promotion of tumorigenesis through a specific cascade of transduction signals. Notably, latent infection with Epstein-Barr virus is considered liable of causing several types of malignancies, including the majority of gastric carcinoma cases detected worldwide. In this review, we describe the role of the Epstein-Barr virus in gastric carcinogenesis, summarizing the functions of the Epstein-Barr virus-encoded viral proteins and related epigenetic alterations as well as the roles of Epstein-Barr virus-encoded and virally modulated cellular miRNAs.