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Review Article

Viral MicroRNAs in Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Pathobiology


Raza Ali Naqvi, Araceli Valverde, Tejabhiram Yadavalli, Fatima Ismail Bobat, Kristelle J. Capistrano, Deepak Shukla and Afsar R. Naqvi*   Pages 1 - 17 ( 17 )


Simplexvirus humanalpha1 infects millions of people globally, manifesting as vesiculo-ulcerative lesions of the oral or genital mucosa. After primary infection, the virus establishes latency in the peripheral neurons and reactivates sporadically in response to various environmental and genetic factors. A unique feature of herpesviruses is their ability to encode tiny noncoding RNAs called microRNA, (miRNAs). Simplexvirus humanalpha1 encodes eighteen miRNA precursors that generate twenty-seven different mature miRNA sequences. Unique Simplexvirus humanalpha1 miRNAs repertoire is expressed in lytic and latent stages and exhibits expressional disparity in various cell types and model systems suggesting their key pathological functions. This review will focus on elucidating the mechanisms underlying HSV-1 encoded viral miRNAs regulation of host-virus interaction. Numerous studies have demonstrated sequence-specific targeting of both viral and host transcripts by Simplexvirus humanalpha1 miRNAs. While these noncoding RNAs predominantly target viral genes involved in viral life cycle switch, they regulate host genes involved in antiviral immunity, thereby facilitating viral evasion and lifelong viral persistence inside the host. Expression of Simplexvirus humanalpha1 miRNAs has been associated with disease progression and resolution. Systemic circulation and stability of viral miRNAs compared to viral mRNAs can be harnessed to utilize their potential as diagnostic and prognostic markers. Moreover, functional inhibition of these enigmatic molecules may allow us to devise strategies that have therapeutic significance to contain Simplexvirus humanalpha1 infection.


Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1,microRNAs,immune response,viral persistence,diagnostics markers,antiviral therapeutics


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