Role of hepatocyte growth factor/c-Met signaling in regulating urokinase plasminogen activator on invasiveness in human hepatocellular carcinoma: a potential therapeutic target
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Lee, K.H., Choi, E.Y., Hyun, M.S. et al. Clin Exp Metastasis (2008) 25: 89. doi:10.1007/s10585-007-9106-6
- 165 Downloads
Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), its transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptor (c-Met), and urokinase type plasminogen activator (uPA) is a key protein in the plasminogen activation system, which plays a proteolytically important role in the invasion and metastasis of various types of cancers. However, the mechanisms by which HGF/c-Met signaling mediates cancer progression and metastasis are unclear. This study was designed to investigate the roles of HGF/c-Met in tumor progression and metastasis in HepG2 and Hep3B hepatoma cell lines. Treatment with HGF increased c-Met phosphorylation in a dose-dependent manner. Activity of c-Met phosphorylation peaked 1–3 min after HGF treatment and then declined. HGF enhanced the protein level and the activity of uPA in HepG2 and Hep3B cells, and the uPAR protein level also increased in a HGF dose-dependent manner. HGF increased cell invasion through the Matrigel. A monoclonal antibody against human uPA receptor, mAb 3936, inhibited HGF-mediated tumor cell invasion in a dose-dependent manner. Down-regulation of uPA using uPA-shRNA induced a decrease in in vitro cell invasion. These results suggest that hepatoma cells express functional c-Met, which may provide a target for a therapeutic basis to interfere with metastases of cancer cells by inhibiting uPA system-mediated proteolysis.