Pathology & Oncology Research

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 357–363 | Cite as

Targeting MET by Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Suppresses Growth and Invasion of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Cell Lines

  • Patrick C. Lau
  • Elaine Y. Wong


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) represents a common cancer in endemic areas with high invasive and metastatic potential. It is now known that the HGF-MET signaling pathway plays an important role in mediating the invasive growth of many different types of cancer, including head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. HGF has been shown to stimulate NPC cell growth and invasion in cell line model. The current study aims at demonstrating the effect of MET inhibition by small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor PHA665752 on the growth and invasive potential of NPC cell lines. NPC cell lines were used for immunohistochemistry for the MET protein, as well as western blot analysis on MET together with its downstream cascade signaling proteins after treatment with PHA665752. The effect on cell growth, migration and invasion after PHA665752 treatment was also studied. MET inhibition by PHA665752 resulted in highly significant inhibition on NPC cell growth, migration and invasion in vitro. Down-regulation of phospho-MET, phospho-Akt, phospho-MAPK, phospho-STAT3, cyclin D1, β-catenin and PCNA was detected in NPC cells after PHA665752 treatment. MET inhibition with tyrosine kinase inhibitor resulted in suppression of NPC cell growth and invasive potential via down-regulation of a variety of signaling onco-proteins. MET is an important therapeutic target for NPC that warrants further studies and clinical trials.


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma MET Growth Invasion Tyrosine kinase inhibitor 



We thank Professor VW Lui and Professor AT Chan for initiating and guiding this research project.

Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest declared.

No financial declaration.


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Copyright information

© Arányi Lajos Foundation 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Sir YK Pao Center for Cancer, Department of Clinical OncologyHong Kong Cancer InstituteShatinChina
  2. 2.Li Ka Shing Institute of Health SciencesThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinChina
  3. 3.Department of Clinical OncologyPrince of Wales HospitalShatinChina

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