Approximately 350 million people worldwide are chronically infected by hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV causes severe liver diseases including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In about 25% of affected patients, HBV infection proceeds to HCC. Therefore, the mechanisms by which HBV affects the host cell to promote viral replication and its pathogenesis have been the subject of intensive research efforts. Emerging evidence indicates that both autophagy and microRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in HBV replication and HBV-related hepatocarcinogenesis. In this review, we summarize how HBV induces autophagy, the role of autophagy in HBV infection, and HBV-related tumorigenesis. We further discuss the emerging roles of miRNAs in HBV infection and how HBV affects miRNAs biogenesis. The accumulating knowledge pertaining to autophagy and miRNAs in HBV replication and its pathogenesis may lead to the development of novel strategies against HBV infection and HBV-related HCC tumorigenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas