Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Cancer Res. 2004 Aug 15;10(16):5580-6.

Expression of the ELAV-like protein HuR is associated with higher tumor grade and increased cyclooxygenase-2 expression in human breast carcinoma.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Pathology, Charité Hospital, Berlin, Germany.



The human ELAV (embryonic lethal abnormal vision)-like protein HuR stabilizes a certain group of cellular mRNAs that contain AU-rich elements in their 3'-untranslated region. Cell culture studies have shown that the mRNA of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 can be stabilized by HuR.


To investigate a possible contribution of dysregulation of mRNA stability to the progression of cancer and to overexpression of COX-2, we studied expression of HuR in 208 primary breast carcinomas by immunohistochemistry.


There were two different staining patterns of HuR in tumor tissue of breast carcinomas: nuclear expression was seen in 61% of cases; and an additional cytoplasmic expression was seen in 30% of cases. Expression of HuR was significantly associated with increased COX-2 expression; this association was particularly significant for cytoplasmic HuR expression (P < 0.0005). We further observed a significant association of cytoplasmic (P = 0.002) or nuclear HuR (P = 0.027) expression with increased tumor grade. Only 13% of the grade 1 carcinomas showed cytoplasmic expression of HuR, compared with 46% of the grade 3 carcinomas. There was no significant correlation between HuR expression and other clinicopathological parameters such as histological type, tumor size, or nodal status as well as patient survival.


Our results suggest that overexpression of HuR in tumor tissue may be part of a regulatory pathway that controls the mRNA stability of several important targets in tumor biology, such as COX-2. Based on our results, additional studies are necessary to investigate whether HuR might be a potential target for molecular tumor therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk