Journal Article

The COX-2/PGE<sub>2</sub> pathway: key roles in the hallmarks of cancer and adaptation to the tumour microenvironment

Alexander Greenhough, Helena J.M. Smartt, Amy E. Moore, Heather R. Roberts, Ann C. Williams, Christos Paraskeva and Abderrahmane Kaidi

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 30, issue 3, pages 377-386
Published in print March 2009 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online January 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgp014
The COX-2/PGE2 pathway: key roles in the hallmarks of cancer and adaptation to the tumour microenvironment

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It is widely accepted that alterations to cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression and the abundance of its enzymatic product prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) have key roles in influencing the development of colorectal cancer. Deregulation of the COX-2/PGE2 pathway appears to affect colorectal tumorigenesis via a number of distinct mechanisms: promoting tumour maintenance and progression, encouraging metastatic spread, and perhaps even participating in tumour initiation. Here, we review the role of COX-2/PGE2 signalling in colorectal tumorigenesis and highlight its ability to influence the hallmarks of cancer—attributes defined by Hanahan and Weinberg as being requisite for tumorigenesis. In addition, we consider components of the COX–prostaglandin pathway emerging as important regulators of tumorigenesis; namely, the prostanoid (EP) receptors, 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase and the prostaglandin transporter. Finally, based on recent findings, we propose a model for the cellular adaptation to the hypoxic tumour microenvironment that encompasses the interplay between COX-2, hypoxia-inducible factor 1 and dynamic switches in β-catenin function that fine-tune signalling networks to meet the ever-changing demands of a tumour.

Journal Article.  10196 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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