Open Access Highly Accessed Review

The miRNA world of polyomaviruses

Ole Lagatie1*, Luc Tritsmans2 and Lieven J Stuyver1

Author Affiliations

1 Janssen Diagnostics, Turnhoutseweg 30, Beerse 2340, Belgium

2 Janssen Research and Development, Turnhoutseweg 30, Beerse 2340, Belgium

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Virology Journal 2013, 10:268  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-268

Published: 28 August 2013


Polyomaviruses are a family of non-enveloped DNA viruses infecting several species, including humans, primates, birds, rodents, bats, horse, cattle, raccoon and sea lion. They typically cause asymptomatic infection and establish latency but can be reactivated under certain conditions causing severe diseases. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that play important roles in several cellular processes by binding to and inhibiting the translation of specific mRNA transcripts. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of microRNAs involved in polyomavirus infection. We review in detail the different viral miRNAs that have been discovered and the role they play in controlling both host and viral protein expression. We also give an overview of the current understanding on how host miRNAs may function in controlling polyomavirus replication, immune evasion and pathogenesis.

Polyomaviruses; microRNAs; Virus-host interaction; Immune evasion