High level of cyclin A promotes carcinogenesis, and overexpression of cyclin A has been associated with poor prognosis of cancer patients. We validated the prognostic role of cyclin A in gastric cancer and evaluated its correlation with expression of an mRNA stability factor HuR. From 342 consecutive histologically confirmed gastric cancer patients were obtained 325 representative tissue specimens for cyclin A and 316 for HuR immunohistochemistry. Specimens were stained by cyclin A and HuR specific monoclonal antibodies. Nuclear immunostaining detected in ≥≥≥≥5% of the tumor cells was considered the cut-off for cyclin A positivity. Positive HuR immunoreactivity was scored as nuclear or cytoplasmic. Associations between scores, clinicopathological factors and survival were calculated by the χ2-test, Fisher's exact test, Kaplan-Meier test and Cox model. Cyclin A detected in the nuclei of cancer cells was positive in 55% (179 of 325) of the specimens; 40% (127 of 316) of the specimens had cytoplasmic and 88% (279of 316) nuclear immunoreactivity of HuR. Cyclin A expression was an independent prognostic factor for poor survival. Cyclin A immunoreactivity was associated with old age, high stage, proximal location of the tumor, intestinal type, noncurative resection, advanced penetration depth and with nodal metastases but not distant metastases. Furthermore, cyclin A expression was associated with cytoplasmic HuR expression, whereas no association with nuclear HuR was evident. Cyclin A is an independent prognostic factor in gastric cancer, and one mechanism for its overexpression may depend on cytoplasmic localization of HuR. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.