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REVIEW ARTICLES  
CMH 2012 December;18:347-356.
Published online 2012 December 24. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3350/cmh.2012.18.4.347
Copyright © 2012 The Korean Association for the Study of the Liver
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Hepatitis C virus and hepatocarcinogenesis
Soung Won Jeong1, Jae Young Jang1, and Raymond T. Chung2
1Institute for Digestive Research, Digestive Disease Center, Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea; 2Gastrointestinal Unit, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
Corresponding Author: Raymond T. Chung ,Tel: +1-617-724-7562, Fax: +1-617-643-0446, Email: rtchung@partners.org
ABSTRACT
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an RNA virus that is unable to integrate into the host genome. However, its proteins interact with various host proteins and induce host responses. The oncogenic process of HCV infection is slow and insidious and probably requires multiple steps of genetic and epigenetic alterations, the activation of cellular oncogenes, the inactivation of tumor suppressor genes, and dysregulation of multiple signal transduction pathways. Stellate cells may transdifferentiate into progenitor cells and possibly be linked to the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Viral proteins also have been implicated in several cellular signal transduction pathways that affect cell survival, proliferation, migration and transformation. Current advances in gene expression profile and selective messenger RNA analysis have improved approach to the pathogenesis of HCC. The heterogeneity of genetic events observed in HCVrelated HCCs has suggested that complex mechanisms underlie malignant transformation induced by HCV infection. Considering the complexity and heterogeneity of HCCs of both etiological and genetic aspects, further molecular classification is required and an understanding of these molecular complexities may provide the opportunity for effective chemoprevention and personalized therapy for HCV-related HCC patients in the future. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of the mechanisms of hepatocarcinogenesis induced by HCV infection.
Keywords: Hepatitis C virus; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Molecular
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