Human antigen R (HuR), also known as HuA and embryonic lethal abnormal vision-like 1 (ELAVL1), is a ubiquitously expressed RNA binding protein and functions as an RNA regulator and mediates the expression of various proteins by diverse post-transcriptional mechanisms. HuR has been well characterized in the inflammatory responses and in the development of various cancers. The importance of HuR-mediated roles in cell signaling, inflammation, fibrogenesis and cancer development in the liver has attracted a great deal of attention. However, there is still a substantial gap between the current understanding of the potential roles of HuR in the progression of liver disease and whether HuR can be targeted for the treatment of liver diseases. In this review, we introduce the function and mechanistic characterization of HuR, and then focus on the physiopathological roles of HuR in the development of different liver diseases, including hepatic inflammation, alcoholic liver diseases, non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases, viral hepatitis, liver fibrosis and liver cancers. We also summarize existing approaches targeting HuR function. In conclusion, although characterizing the liver-specific HuR function and demonstrating the multi-level regulative networks of HuR in the liver are still required, emerging evidence supports the notion that HuR represents a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of chronic liver diseases. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.