Current evidence and future perspectives on HuR and breast cancer development, prognosis, and treatment.
Vasilopoulos, Spyridon N.
Coutts, Robert H.A.
Hu-antigen R (HuR) is an RNA-binding posttranscriptional regulator that belongs to the Hu/ELAV family. HuR expression levels are modulated by a variety of proteins, microRNAs, chemical compounds, or the microenvironment, and in turn, HuR affects mRNA stability and translation of various genes implicated in breast cancer formation, progression, metastasis, and treatment. The aim of the present review is to critically summarize the role of HuR in breast cancer development and its potential as a prognosticator and a therapeutic target. In this aspect, all the existing English literature concerning HuR expression and function in breast cancer cell lines, in vivo animal models, and clinical studies is critically presented and summarized. HuR modulates many genes implicated in biological processes crucial for breast cancer formation, growth, and metastasis, whereas the link between HuR and these processes has been demonstrated directly in vitro and in vivo. Additionally, clinical studies reveal that HuR is associated with more aggressive forms of breast cancer and is a putative prognosticator for patients' survival. All the above indicate HuR as a promising drug target for cancer therapy; nevertheless, additional studies are required to fully understand its potential and determine against which types of breast cancer and at which stage of the disease a therapeutic agent targeting HuR would be more effective.