Studies suggest the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and matrilysin (MMP-7) increase in the early stages of colorectal carcinogenesis, however their interaction with other molecular markers is poorly understood. Results from cell line studies and mouse models suggest polyomavirus enhancer activator 3 (PEA3) may play a role in the activation of COX-2 and MMP-7 promoters. However, the role of E1A-F, the human homolog of murine PEA3, in colorectal cancer (CRC) development has not been elucidated. In this study, we used real-time reverse transcription (RT)-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to measure the levels of E1A-F, COX-2, and MMP-7 in matched normal mucosa, adenomas, and/or carcinomas from 128 patients. Our results demonstrate significant overexpression of E1A-F and MMP-7 in adenomas and E1A-F, COX-2, and MMP-7 in carcinomas. In carcinomas, E1A-F expression was significantly associated with both COX-2 and MMP-7 overexpression. These results suggest E1A-F is overexpressed in early stages of human CRC development and may be an important factor in the overexpression of COX-2 and MMP-7. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.