Background: RNA interference (RNAi) represents a promising new approach to combat viral infections, and recent developments in the field of gene therapy have increased the feasibility of clinical applications. Objective: to explore the utility of RNAi for the treatment of the ultimately life-threatening liver disease caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV), which affects approximately 170 million people worldwide. Methods: A review of current developments in liver-directed gene delivery and the potential application of RNAi for the treatment of HCV. In addition, the involvement of microRNAs (miRNA) in HCV infection and the potential therapeutic implications are emphasized. Conclusions: RNAi technologies have fuelled rapid progress in the basic understanding of HCV biology and revealed numerous new viral and host-cell factors as potential targets for therapy. Together with the improvement of gene delivery technology and the discovery of the critical role of miRNA in HCV infection, RNAi and miRNA-based antiviral strategies hold great promise for the future.

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Keywords Gene therapy, HCV, Liver disease, miRNA, shRNA, siRNA
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Journal Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Pan, Q, Tilanus, H.W, Janssen, H.L.A, & van der Laan, L.J.W. (2009). Prospects of RNAi and microRNA-based therapies for hepatitis C. Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy (Vol. 9, pp. 713–724). doi:10.1517/14712590902989970