The met proto-oncogene receptor and lumen formation

Science  28 Aug 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5074, pp. 1258-1261
DOI: 10.1126/science.1387731


The met proto-oncogene product (Met) and its ligand, hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF), have been implicated in cell mitogenic response, cell motility, and the promotion of the ordered spatial arrangement of tissue. By means of confocal laser-scanning microscopy, it was shown that Met is expressed in cells bordering lumen-like structures that resemble ducts in the human mammary cell line T47D. In human breast tissue biopsies, Met staining was intense in normal cells bordering mammary ducts but was reduced in adjacent tumor tissue. Met staining in lumen-forming organs colocalizes with staining of antibody to phosphotyrosine, which suggests that the Met receptor and its substrates may be activated in lumen structures or ducts. HGF/SF treatment of human epithelial carcinoma cell lines resulted in the formation of lumen-like structures in vitro. Reduced expression of Met could be related to the extent of tumor cell differentiation.

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