Cyclooxygenase-2 modulates cellular growth and promotes tumorigenesis

J Cell Mol Med. Jul-Sep 2003;7(3):207-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2003.tb00222.x.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / metabolism
  • Antineoplastic Agents / metabolism
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Cell Division / physiology*
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic*
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / genetics
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / metabolism*
  • Prostaglandins / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
  • Isoenzymes
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Prostaglandins
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Transcription Factors
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • PTGS2 protein, human
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases