• Open Access

Cyclooxygenase-2 modulates cellular growth and promotes tumorigenesis


*Correspondence to: Ovidiu C. TRIFAN, University of Connecticut Health Center, Center for Vascular Biology, Farmigton, CT 03032.


Cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 and the prostaglandins resulting from its enzymatic activity have been shown to play a role in modulating cell growth and development of human neoplasia. Evidence includes a direct relationship between COX-2 expression and cancer incidence in humans and animal models, increased tumorigenesis after genetic manipulation of COX-2, and significant anti-tumor properties of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in animal models and in some human cancers. Recent data showed that COX-2 and the derived prostaglandins are involved in control of cellular growth, apoptosis, and signal through a group of nuclear receptors named peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). In this article we will review some of the findings suggesting that COX-2 is involved in multiple cellular mechanisms that lead to tumorigenesis.