Published online Apr 21, 2018. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i15.1601
Peer-review started: February 1, 2018
First decision: February 24, 2018
Revised: March 13, 2018
Accepted: March 31, 2018
Article in press: March 31, 2018
Published online: April 21, 2018
This review intends to uncover how information from large-scale genetic profiling (whole genome sequencing, and whole exome sequencing) of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), as well as information from circulating transcriptomics (cell-free miRNAs) and metabolomics, contributes to the understanding of NAFLD pathogenesis. A further aim is to address the question of whether OMICs information is ready to be implemented in the clinics. The available evidence suggests that any new knowledge pertaining to molecular signatures associated with NAFLD and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis should be promptly translated into the clinical setting. Nevertheless, rigorous steps that must include validation and replication are mandatory before utilizing OMICs biomarkers in diagnostics to identify patients at risk of advanced disease, including liver cancer.
Core tip: It is expected that, in the near future, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease patients can be diagnosed and treated according to their own “molecular signature”. Specific focus should be placed on prevention and early diagnosis through the application of biomarkers of disease risk. Selection of “personalized drugs” as well as tailored therapy according to the specific molecular signature should be further guaranteed.