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The Korean Journal of Pathology 2008;42(2): 75-80.
Correlation Between Cyclooxygenase-2 Expression and HuR Cytoplasmic Translocation of Breast Cancer.
Sung Im Do, In Gu Do, Gou Young Kim, Sun Lee, Youn Wha Kim, Yong Koo Park, Juhie Lee, Sung Jig Lim
1Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.
2Department of Pathology, East-West Neo Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. sungjig@khu.ac.kr
ABSTRACT
BACKGROUND: Embryonic lethal abnormal vision (ELAV)-like protein HuR is known to stabilize mRNA through binding AU-rich elements in the 3'-untranslated region. Recent studies show that HuR expression is associated with the expression of several genes including cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). HuR exists predominantly in the nucleus, but cytoplasmic translocation of HuR is thought to be more important for its activity. COX-2 is a well-known enzyme that promotes tumor growth. METHODS: To evaluate the correlation of HuR and COX-2 expression, we analyzed expression of HuR and COX-2 in 91 cases of breast cancer using immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: Nuclear and cytoplasmic expression of HuR was seen in 76 (83.5%) and 19 (20.9%) of 91 cases respectively. COX-2 immunoreactivity was seen in 54 (59.4%) cases. Cytoplasmic HuR expression showed significant correlation with COX-2 expression (p=0.001). Nuclear HuR showed no correlation with COX-2 expression or other clinicopathological parameters. COX-2 expression is significantly associated with tumor grade (p=0.028). COX-2 (p=0.092) and cytoplasmic (p=0.569) and nuclear HuR (p=0.247) expression showed no correlation with survival. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that cytoplasmic HuR expression is associated with COX-2 expression in breast cancer and cytoplasmic location of HuR might contribute to the stabilization of COX-2 mRNA.
Key Words: Breast; HuR; Cyclooxygenase-2