MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding RNAs with 19 to 24 nucleotides which are evolutionally conserved.
MicroRNAs play a regulatory role in many cellular functions such as immune mechanisms, apoptosis, and
tumorigenesis. The main function of miRNAs is the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression via mRNA
degradation or inhibition of translation. In fact, many of them act as an oncogene or tumor suppressor. These
molecular structures participate in many physiological and pathological processes of the cell. The virus can also
produce them for developing its pathogenic processes. It was initially thought that viruses without nuclear replication
cycle such as Poxviridae and RNA viruses can not code miRNA, but recently, it has been proven that RNA
viruses can also produce miRNA. The aim of this articles is to describe viral miRNAs biogenesis and their effects
on cellular and viral genes.
Keywords: non-coding RNAs, function, miRNAs, viral infection, cancer, nucleotides.
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