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Cancer Res. 2003 Nov 15;63(22):7591-4.

Cytoplasmic HuR expression correlates with poor outcome and with cyclooxygenase 2 expression in serous ovarian carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Helsinki University Central Hospital, University of Helsinki, FIN-00014 Helsinki, Finland.


Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression has been shown to associate with poor prognosis in ovarian cancer, and an mRNA stability protein HuR has been shown to enhance expression of COX-2 in tissue culture conditions. We found cytoplasmic immunoreactivity for HuR protein in 52% (233 of 445) of serous-type ovarian carcinoma specimens, and it associated with high COX-2 expression (P = 0.0045) and with clinicopathological variables, including poor prognosis (P < 0.0001) and high grade (P < 0.0001). In ovarian cancer cells in vitro, a small interfering RNA against HuR and leptomycin B, an inhibitor of nucleocytoplasmic translocation of HuR, inhibited COX-2 expression. Our results show that cytoplasmic HuR expression associates with poor outcome in ovarian cancer, and one plausible explanation for this finding may be related to the ability of HuR to induce COX-2 expression.

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