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Inhibition Of The Met Receptor In Mesothelioma

T. Mukohara, Gabriel Civiello, I. Davis, M. Taffaro, J. Christensen, D. Fisher, B. Johnson, P. Jänne
Published 2005 · Medicine, Biology

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Background: Expression of the Met receptor and its ligand, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), has been observed in 74% to 100% and 40% to 85% of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) specimens, respectively. HGF stimulation has been shown to enhance MPM cell proliferation, migration, cell scattering, and invasiveness. Experimental Design: To investigate a potential therapeutic role for the Met receptor in MPM, we examined the effects of PHA-665752, a specific small-molecule inhibitor of the Met receptor tyrosine kinase, in a panel of 10 MPM cell lines. Results: Two of the cell lines, H2461 and JMN-1B, exhibited autocrine HGF production as measured by ELISA (3.9 and 10.5 ng/mL, respectively, versus <0.05 ng/mL in other cell lines). Evaluation of PHA-665752 across the 10 MPM cell lines indicated that despite Met expression in all cell lines, only in cell lines that exhibited a Met/HGF autocrine loop, H2461 and JMN-1B, did PHA-665752 inhibit growth with an IC50 of 1 and 2 μmol/L, respectively. No activating mutations in Met were detected in any of the cell lines. Consistent with observed growth inhibition, PHA-665752 caused cell cycle arrest at G1-S boundary accompanied by a dose-dependent decrease in phosphorylation of Met, p70S6K, Akt, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2. Growth of H2461 cells was also inhibited by neutralizing antibodies to HGF and by RNA interference knockdown of the Met receptor, confirming that growth inhibition observed was through a Met-dependent mechanism. PHA-665752 also reduced MPM in vitro cell migration and invasion. Conclusions: Taken together, these findings suggest that inhibition of the Met receptor may be an effective therapeutic strategy for patients with MPM and provides a mechanism, the presence of a HGF/Met autocrine loop, by which to select patients for PHA-665752 treatment.
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