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Disease Markers
Volume 2018, Article ID 4020937, 13 pages
Review Article

Clinical Significance and Biological Role of HuR in Head and Neck Carcinomas

1First Department of Pathology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
2Department of Pathology, Klinikum Nuremberg, Paracelsus Medical University, Nuremberg, Germany
3Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Imperial College London, London, UK

Correspondence should be addressed to Ioly Kotta-Loizou; and Stamatios Theocharis; rg.aou.dem@oehtmats

Received 17 August 2017; Accepted 27 November 2017; Published 28 January 2018

Academic Editor: Michal Barak

Copyright © 2018 Georgia Levidou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Hu-antigen R (HuR) is a posttranscriptional regulator of several target mRNAs, implicated in carcinogenesis. This review aims to present the current evidence regarding the biological role and potential clinical significance of HuR in head and neck carcinomas. Methods. The existing literature concerning HuR expression and function in head and neck carcinomas is critically presented and summarised. Results. HuR is expressed in the majority of the examined samples, showing higher cytoplasmic levels in malignant or premalignant cases. Moreover, HuR modulates several genes implicated in biological processes important for malignant transformation, growth, and invasiveness. HuR seems to be an adverse prognosticator in patients with OSCCs, whereas a correlation with a more aggressive phenotype is reported in several types of carcinomas. Conclusions. A consistent role of HuR in the carcinogenesis and progression of head and neck carcinomas is suggested; nevertheless, further studies are warranted to expand the present information.