Regulation and biological function of the liver-specific miR-122.
ABSTRACT miRNAs (microRNAs) are important regulators of gene expression. In higher eukaryotes, the tightly controlled expression of different miRNAs, each of which regulates multiple target mRNAs, is crucial for the maintenance of tissue type and the control of differentiation. miR-122 is a highly liver-specific miRNA that is important in hepatitis C virus infection, cholesterol metabolism and hepatocellular carcinoma. In the present review, we discuss the effects of miR-122 on liver physiology and pathology. Recent evidence of pathways involved in the regulation of miR-122 expression is also considered.