Indexed on: 13 Sep '15Published on: 13 Sep '15Published in: Metabolism
Hepatic stellate cells (HSC) activation plays a key role in liver fibrosis. Numerous studies have indicated that non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) control liver fibrosis and fibroblasts proliferation. Greater knowledge of the role of the ncRNAs-mediated epigenetic mechanism in liver fibrosis could improve understanding of the liver fibrosis pathogenesis. The aim of this review is to describe the present knowledge about the ncRNAs significantly participating in liver fibrosis and HSC activation, and look ahead on new perspectives of ncRNAs-mediated epigenetic mechanism research. Moreover, we will discuss examples of non-coding RNAs that interact with histone modification or DNA methylation to regulate gene expression in liver fibrosis. Diverse classes of ncRNAs, ranging from microRNAs (miRs) to long non-coding RNAs (LncRNAs), have emerged as key regulators of several important aspects of function, including cell proliferation, activation, etc. In addition, recent advances suggest the important role of ncRNAs transcripts in epigenetic gene regulation. Targeting the miRs and LncRNAs can be a promising direction in liver fibrosis treatment. We discuss new perspectives of miRs and LncRNAs in liver fibrosis and HSC activation, mainly including interaction with histone modification or DNA methylation to regulate gene expression. These epigenetic mechanisms form powerful ncRNAs surveillance systems that may represent new targets for liver fibrosis therapeutic intervention.