Immunohistochemical analysis of paired tumor and normal tissue specimens revealed that the expression and cytoplasmic abundance of the RNA-binding protein HuR increased with malignancy, particularly in colon carcinomas. Interventions to modulate HuR expression in human RKO colon cancer cells altered gene expression profiles and identified beta-catenin mRNA as a novel HuR target. Subcutaneous injection of HuR-overexpressing RKO cells into nude mice produced significantly larger tumors than those arising from control populations; conversely, RKO cells expressing reduced HuR through small interference RNA- or antisense HuR-based approaches developed significantly more slowly. We propose that HuR-regulated target mRNA expression contributes to colon cancer growth. Our results suggest a pivotal function for HuR in colon carcinogenesis.