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

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          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.


          The existing literature concerning HuR expression and function in head and neck carcinomas is critically presented and summarised.


          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.


          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.

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          Most cited references 93

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          Cdk1 is sufficient to drive the mammalian cell cycle.

          Unicellular organisms such as yeasts require a single cyclin-dependent kinase, Cdk1, to drive cell division. In contrast, mammalian cells are thought to require the sequential activation of at least four different cyclin-dependent kinases, Cdk2, Cdk3, Cdk4 and Cdk6, to drive cells through interphase, as well as Cdk1 to proceed through mitosis. This model has been challenged by recent genetic evidence that mice survive in the absence of individual interphase Cdks. Moreover, most mouse cell types proliferate in the absence of two or even three interphase Cdks. Similar results have been obtained on ablation of some of the activating subunits of Cdks, such as the D-type and E-type cyclins. Here we show that mouse embryos lacking all interphase Cdks (Cdk2, Cdk3, Cdk4 and Cdk6) undergo organogenesis and develop to midgestation. In these embryos, Cdk1 binds to all cyclins, resulting in the phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein pRb and the expression of genes that are regulated by E2F transcription factors. Mouse embryonic fibroblasts derived from these embryos proliferate in vitro, albeit with an extended cell cycle due to inefficient inactivation of Rb proteins. However, they become immortal on continuous passage. We also report that embryos fail to develop to the morula and blastocyst stages in the absence of Cdk1. These results indicate that Cdk1 is the only essential cell cycle Cdk. Moreover, they show that in the absence of interphase Cdks, Cdk1 can execute all the events that are required to drive cell division.
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            Diverse molecular functions of Hu proteins.

             H Lou,  Lois Hinman (2008)
            Hu proteins are RNA-binding proteins involved in diverse biological processes. The neuronal members of the Hu family, HuB, HuC, and HuD play important roles in neuronal differentiation and plasticity, while the ubiquitously expressed family member, HuR, has numerous functions mostly related to cellular stress response. The pivotal roles of Hu proteins are dictated by their molecular functions affecting a large number of target genes. Hu proteins affect many post-transcriptional aspects of RNA metabolism, from splicing to translation. In this communication, we will focus on these molecular events and review our current understanding of how Hu proteins mediate them. In particular, emphasis will be put on the nuclear functions of these proteins, which were recently discovered. Three examples including calcitonin/calcitonin gene-related peptide, neurofibromatosis type 1, and Ikaros will be discussed in detail. In addition, an intriguing theme of antagonism between Hu proteins and other AU-rich sequence binding proteins will be discussed.
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              Overexpression of HuR, a nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling protein, increases the in vivo stability of ARE-containing mRNAs.

               Lucy Fan,  J Steitz (1998)
              The messenger RNAs of many proto-oncogenes, cytokines and lymphokines are targeted for rapid degradation through AU-rich elements (AREs) located in their 3' untranslated regions (UTRs). HuR, a ubiquitously expressed member of the Elav family of RNA binding proteins, exhibits specific affinities for ARE-containing RNA sequences in vitro which correlate with their in vivo decay rates, thereby implicating HuR in the ARE-mediated degradation pathway. We have transiently transfected HuR into mouse L929 cells and observed that overexpression of HuR enhances the stability of beta-globin reporter mRNAs containing either class I or class II AREs. The increase in mRNA stability parallels the level of HuR overexpression, establishing an in vivo role for HuR in mRNA decay. Furthermore, overexpression of HuR deletion mutants lacking RNA recognition motif 3 (RRM 3) does not exert a stabilizing effect, indicating that RRM 3 is important for HuR function. We have also developed polyclonal anti-HuR antibodies. Immunofluorescent staining of HeLa and L929 cells using affinity-purified anti-HuR antibody shows that both endogenous and overexpressed HuR proteins are localized in the nucleus. By forming HeLa-L929 cell heterokaryons, we demonstrate that HuR shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm. Thus, HuR may initially bind to ARE-containing mRNAs in the nucleus and provide protection during and after their export to the cytoplasmic compartment.

                Author and article information

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                28 January 2018
                : 2018
                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
                Author notes

                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.

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