MicroRNAs are short non-coding RNAs that play a crucial role in the regulation of gene expression during cellular processes. The host-encoded miRNAs are known to modulate the antiviral defense during viral infection. In the last decade, multiple DNA and RNA viruses have been shown to produce miRNAs known as viral miRNAs (v-miRNAs) so as to evade the host immune response. In this review, we highlight the origin and biogenesis of viral miRNAs during the viral lifecycle. We also explore the role of viral miRNAs in immune evasion and hence in maintaining chronic infection and disease. Finally, we offer insights into the underexplored role of viral miRNAs as potential targets for developing therapeutics for treating complex viral diseases.
- host immunity