The met protooncogene tyrosine kinase receptor (Met) and its ligand, hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF), ordinarily constitute a paracrine signaling system in which cells of mesenchymal origin produce the ligand, which binds to the receptor that is predominantly expressed in cells of epithelial origin. However, mouse NIH/3T3 fibroblasts overexpressing Met induce tumor formation in nude mice via an autocrine mechanism (S. Rong et al., Mol. Cell. Biol., 12: 5152-5158,1992). In this study, we report that human cell lines established from various sarcomas express high levels of activated Met receptor. HGF/SF is also detected in the human sarcoma cell lines but at a reduced level when compared to primary fibroblasts. These properties, high Met expression and reduced ligand levels, are indistinguishable from the properties of NIH/3T3 tumor explant cells overexpressing Met (S. Rong et al., Mol. Cell. Biol., 12: 5152-5158,1992; S. Rong et al., Cell Growth & Differ., 4: 565-569,1993). Moreover, paraffin-embedded sections of primary tumors from human osteosarcomas, chondrosarcomas, and leiomyosarcoma stain intensely for Met and/or HGF/SF and display extensive tumor cell heterogeneity with regard to both paracrine and autocrine stimulation. On the basis of these findings, we propose that Met-HGF/SF autocrine signaling may contribute to the tumorigenic process in human sarcomas.
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - 15 Nov 1993|