Gene Summary

Gene:HGF; hepatocyte growth factor (hepapoietin A; scatter factor)
Aliases: SF, HGFB, HPTA, F-TCF, DFNB39
Summary:Hepatocyte growth factor regulates cell growth, cell motility, and morphogenesis by activating a tyrosine kinase signaling cascade after binding to the proto-oncogenic c-Met receptor. Hepatocyte growth factor is secreted by mesenchymal cells and acts as a multi-functional cytokine on cells of mainly epithelial origin. Its ability to stimulate mitogenesis, cell motility, and matrix invasion gives it a central role in angiogenesis, tumorogenesis, and tissue regeneration. It is secreted as a single inactive polypeptide and is cleaved by serine proteases into a 69-kDa alpha-chain and 34-kDa beta-chain. A disulfide bond between the alpha and beta chains produces the active, heterodimeric molecule. The protein belongs to the plasminogen subfamily of S1 peptidases but has no detectable protease activity. Alternative splicing of this gene produces multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:hepatocyte growth factor
Source:NCBIAccessed: 27 February, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (29)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (3)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 28 February 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Transcription Factors
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Young Adult
  • Veratrum Alkaloids
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor
  • Signal Transduction
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Liver Cancer
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Mutation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Risk Factors
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p14ARF
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • Lung Cancer
  • Semaphorins
  • Transcription
  • Turbinates
  • Vimentin
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Vascular Neoplasms
  • Messenger RNA
  • Cell Movement
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Ubiquitin
  • Tyrosine
  • Xenopus laevis
  • Phosphorylation
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor
  • Survival Rate
  • Xenograft Models
  • Drug Resistance
  • Breast Cancer
  • Chromosome 7
Tag cloud generated 27 February, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: HGF (cancer-related)

Bachurska S, Staykov D, Belovezhdov V, et al.
Bilateral pheochromocytoma/intra-adrenal paraganglioma in von Hippel-Lindau patient causing acute myocardial infarction.
Pol J Pathol. 2014; 65(1):78-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
A 26-year-old male presented to the emergency department complaining of obstipation, severe headache and abdominal pain. An autopsy revealed bilateral pheochromocytoma and acute myocardial infarction. The tumor cells showed positive immunoreactivity of both chromogranin A and synaptophysin and were negative for adrenocortical markers such as SF-1, c17, scc, 3-HSD as well as SDHB, suggesting a germline mutation of the gene SDHB or SDHD. Molecular genetic analyses did not show a mutation in these two genes, but a mutation in the VHL gene, in exon 3: VHL c.499C>T. This is a missense mutation and causes an amino acid change (Arg167Trp).

Korhan P, Erdal E, Atabey N
MiR-181a-5p is downregulated in hepatocellular carcinoma and suppresses motility, invasion and branching-morphogenesis by directly targeting c-Met.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 450(4):1304-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
c-Met receptor tyrosine kinase has been regarded as a promising therapeutic target for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Recently, microRNAs (miRNAs) have been shown as a novel mechanism to control c-Met expression in cancer. In this study, we investigate the potential contribution of miR-181a-5p dysregulation to the biology of c-Met overexpression in HCC. Herein, we found an inverse expression pattern between miR-181a-5p and c-Met expression in normal, cirrhotic and HCC liver tissues. Luciferase assay confirmed that miR-181a-5p binding to the 3'-UTR of c-Met downregulated the expression of c-Met in HCC cells. Overexpression of miR-181a-5p suppressed both HGF-independent and -dependent activation of c-Met and consequently diminished branching-morphogenesis and invasion. Combined treatment with miR-181a-5p and c-Met inhibitor led to a further inhibition of c-Met-driven cellular activities. Knockdown of miR-181a-5p promoted HGF-independent/-dependent signaling of c-Met and accelerated migration, invasion and branching-morphogenesis. In conclusion, our results demonstrated for the first time that c-Met is a functional target gene of miR-181a-5p and the loss of miR-181a-5p expression led to the activation of c-Met-mediated oncogenic signaling in hepatocarcinogenesis. These findings display a novel molecular mechanism of c-Met regulation in HCC and strategies to increase miR-181a5p level might be an alternative approach for the enhancement of the inhibitory effects of c-Met inhibitors.

Frittoli E, Palamidessi A, Marighetti P, et al.
A RAB5/RAB4 recycling circuitry induces a proteolytic invasive program and promotes tumor dissemination.
J Cell Biol. 2014; 206(2):307-28 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The mechanisms by which tumor cells metastasize and the role of endocytic proteins in this process are not well understood. We report that overexpression of the GTPase RAB5A, a master regulator of endocytosis, is predictive of aggressive behavior and metastatic ability in human breast cancers. RAB5A is necessary and sufficient to promote local invasion and distant dissemination of various mammary and nonmammary tumor cell lines, and this prometastatic behavior is associated with increased intratumoral cell motility. Specifically, RAB5A is necessary for the formation of invadosomes, membrane protrusions specialized in extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation. RAB5A promotes RAB4- and RABENOSYN-5-dependent endo/exocytic cycles (EECs) of critical cargos (membrane-type 1 matrix metalloprotease [MT1-MMP] and β3 integrin) required for invadosome formation in response to motogenic stimuli. This trafficking circuitry is necessary for spatially localized hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/MET signaling that drives invasive, proteolysis-dependent chemotaxis in vitro and for conversion of ductal carcinoma in situ to invasive ductal carcinoma in vivo. Thus, RAB5A/RAB4 EECs promote tumor dissemination by controlling a proteolytic, mesenchymal invasive program.

Zhou JY, Chen X, Zhao J, et al.
MicroRNA-34a overcomes HGF-mediated gefitinib resistance in EGFR mutant lung cancer cells partly by targeting MET.
Cancer Lett. 2014; 351(2):265-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
In non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that harbours an activating epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation, over-expression of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is an important mechanism involved in the acquired resistance to EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) by restoring activity of the PI3K/Akt pathway via phosphorylation of MET. In our study, we found that the forced expression of miR-34a inhibited cell growth and induced apoptosis partly by targeting MET in HGF-induced gefitinib-resistant HCC827 and PC-9 cells. Furthermore, dramatic tumour regression was observed in the miR-34a plus gefitinib group in HGF-induced gefitinib resistant mouse xenograft models. This study demonstrates for the first time that miR-34a rescues HGF-induced gefitinib resistance in EGFR mutant NSCLC cells.

Sanders AJ, Ye L, Li J, et al.
Tumour angiogenesis and repulsive guidance molecule b: a role in HGF- and BMP-7-mediated angiogenesis.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(3):1304-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a key growth factor linked to promoting cancer progression and angiogenesis. The present study identifies repulsive guidance molecule b (RGMb), a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) co-receptor, as a gene whose expression is regulated by HGF and explores the potential of RGMb to contribute to the process of angiogenesis. Microarray analysis was used to identify HGF responsive genes in HECV endothelial cells, identifying RGMb. RGMb was subsequently targeted using a ribozyme transgene system and its role in angiogenesis assessed using in vitro and in vivo assays. The importance of RGMb in pro-angiogenic responses to HGF and BMP-7 was also assessed. Microarray analysis identified RGMb as a gene upregulated as a result of HGF treatment. Knockdown of RGMb, in HECV cells, had minimal effects on tubule formation, brought about a general, although non-significant increase in cell growth and enhanced cell migration. Similarly, no significant effect of RGMb knockdown was found in vivo using a co-inoculation angiogenesis model. Knockdown of RGMb was, however, found to reduce the responsiveness of HECV cells to HGF treatment and particularly to BMP-7 treatment in regard to the enhanced migratory and tubule formation brought about by these treatments in vitro. Our results indicate that RGMb expression can be influenced by HGF treatment. Whilst this molecule appears to have minimal impact on angiogenic traits individually, it demonstrates an involvement in propagating pro-angiogenic effects of HGF and particularly BMP-7 and thus, may play a role in regulating angiogenic responses to HGF and BMP-7.

Lee YH, Morrison BL, Bottaro DP
Synergistic signaling of tumor cell invasiveness by hepatocyte growth factor and hypoxia.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(30):20448-61 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 25/07/2015 Related Publications
Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) signaling promotes tumor invasiveness in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and other cancers. In clear cell RCC, VHL loss generates pseudohypoxia that exacerbates HGF-driven invasion through β-catenin deregulation. Hypoxia also enhances HGF-driven invasiveness by papillary RCC cells, but in the absence of VHL, loss signaling integration involves three parallel routes: 1) hypoxia-induced reactive oxygen species production and decreased DUSP2 expression, leading to enhanced mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade activation; 2) reactive oxygen species-induced diacylglycerol production by phospholipase Cγ, leading to protein kinase C activation and increased protein phosphatase- 2A activity, thereby suppressing HGF-induced Akt activation; and 3) a profound shift from HGF-enhanced, proliferation- oriented metabolism to autophagy-dependent invasion and suppression of proliferation. This tripartite signaling integration was not unique to RCC or HGF; in RCC cells, invasive synergy induced by the combination of hypoxia and epidermal growth factor occurred through the same mechanism, and in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer cells, this mechanism was suppressed in the absence of estrogen. These results define the molecular basis of growth factor and hypoxia invasive synergy in VHL-competent papillary RCC cells, illustrate the plasticity of invasive and proliferative tumor cell states, and provide signaling profiles by which they may be predicted.

Muendlein A, Hubalek M, Geller-Rhomberg S, et al.
Significant survival impact of MACC1 polymorphisms in HER2 positive breast cancer patients.
Eur J Cancer. 2014; 50(12):2134-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Deregulation of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/mesenchymal-epithelial transition factor (MET) signalling has been associated with poor clinical outcome in breast cancer and other cancers. The recently discovered metastasis-associated in colon cancer-1 (MACC1) gene is a key regulator of the HGF/MET pathway. Potential links between genetic variants of the MACC1 gene and survival in breast cancer patients are unknown. In the present study, we therefore aimed to investigate the influence of MACC1 polymorphisms on event-free and overall survival in patients with human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer.
METHODS: The present study included 164 consecutive white patients with HER2-positive breast cancer. Three MACC1 polymorphisms, rs1990172, rs975263 and rs3735615, already associated with cancer prognosis or with potential functional effects, were genotyped by the 5' nuclease assay.
RESULTS: Multivariate Cox regression analysis adjusted for age and tumour stage showed increased risk for progression or death for carriers of the rare allele (G-allele) of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1990172 (hazard ratios (HR) = 2.26; p = 0.004 and HR = 3.13; p = 0.001 for event-free survival and overall survival, respectively). In addition, we were able to demonstrate an adverse effect on cancer prognosis for carriers of the rare allele (T-allele) of SNP rs975263 (HR = 2.17; p = 0.007 and HR = 2.80; p = 0.003 for event-free survival and overall survival, respectively). The rare allele (C-allele) of SNP rs3735615 showed a significant protective impact on event-free survival as well as overall survival (HR = 0.25; p = 0.001, and HR = 0.16; p = 0.001, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides first evidence that MACC1 polymorphisms are associated with clinical outcome for HER2-positive breast cancer patients. Further studies are warranted to validate these findings.

Sun P, Xia S, Lal B, et al.
Lipid metabolism enzyme ACSVL3 supports glioblastoma stem cell maintenance and tumorigenicity.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:401 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 25/07/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Targeting cell metabolism offers promising opportunities for the development of drugs to treat cancer. We previously found that the fatty acyl-CoA synthetase VL3 (ACSVL3) is elevated in malignant brain tumor tissues and involved in tumorigenesis. This study investigates the role of ACSVL3 in the maintenance of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) stem cell self-renewal and the capacity of GBM stem cells to initiate tumor xenograft formation.
METHODS: We examined ACSVL3 expression during differentiation of several GBM stem cell enriched neurosphere cultures. To study the function of ACSVL3, we performed loss-of-function by using small interfering RNAs to target ACSVL3 and examined stem cell marker expression, neurosphere formation and tumor initiation properties.
RESULTS: ACSVL3 expression levels were substantially increased in GBM stem cell enriched neurosphere cultures and decreased after differentiation of the neurospheres. Down-regulating ACSVL3 with small inhibiting RNAs decreased the expression of markers and regulators associated with stem cell self-renewal, including CD133, ALDH, Musashi-1 and Sox-2. ACSVL3 knockdown in neurosphere cells led to increased expression of differentiation markers GFAP and Tuj1. Furthermore, ACSVL3 knockdown reduced anchorage-independent neurosphere cell growth, neurosphere-forming capacity as well as self-renewal of these GBM stem cell enriched neurosphere cultures. In vivo studies revealed that ACSVL3 loss-of-function substantially inhibited the ability of neurosphere cells to propagate orthotopic tumor xenografts. A link between ACSVL3 and cancer stem cell phenotype was further established by the findings that ACSVL3 expression was regulated by receptor tyrosine kinase pathways that support GBM stem cell self-renewal and tumor initiation, including EGFR and HGF/c-Met pathways.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that the lipid metabolism enzyme ACSVL3 is involved in GBM stem cell maintenance and the tumor-initiating capacity of GBM stem cell enriched-neurospheres in animals.

Hong TS, Ryan DP, Borger DR, et al.
A phase 1/2 and biomarker study of preoperative short course chemoradiation with proton beam therapy and capecitabine followed by early surgery for resectable pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2014; 89(4):830-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To evaluate the safety, efficacy and biomarkers of short-course proton beam radiation and capecitabine, followed by pancreaticoduodenectomy in a phase 1/2 study in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Patients with radiographically resectable, biopsy-proven PDAC were treated with neoadjuvant short-course (2-week) proton-based radiation with capecitabine, followed by surgery and adjuvant gemcitabine. The primary objective was to demonstrate a rate of toxicity grade ≥ 3 of <20%. Exploratory biomarker studies were performed using surgical specimen tissues and peripheral blood.
RESULTS: The phase 2 dose was established at 5 daily doses of 5 GyE. Fifty patients were enrolled, of whom 35 patients were treated in the phase 2 portion. There were no grade 4 or 5 toxicities, and only 2 of 35 patients (4.1%) experienced a grade 3 toxicity event (chest wall pain grade 1, colitis grade 1). Of 48 patients eligible for analysis, 37 underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy. Thirty of 37 (81%) had positive nodes. Locoregional failure occurred in 6 of 37 resected patients (16.2%), and distant recurrence occurred in 35 of 48 patients (72.9%). With median follow-up of 38 months, the median progression-free survival for the entire group was 10 months, and overall survival was 17 months. Biomarker studies showed significant associations between worse survival outcomes and the KRAS point mutation change from glycine to aspartic acid at position 12, stromal CXCR7 expression, and circulating biomarkers CEA, CA19-9, and HGF (all, P<.05).
CONCLUSIONS: This study met the primary endpoint by showing a rate of 4.1% grade 3 toxicity for neoadjuvant short-course proton-based chemoradiation. Treatment was associated with favorable local control. In exploratory analyses, KRAS(G12D) status and high CXCR7 expression and circulating CEA, CA19-9, and HGF levels were associated with poor survival.

Martin TA, Mason MD, Jiang WG
HGF and the regulation of tight junctions in human prostate cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 32(1):213-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) may impact the metastasis of prostate cancer via its action on prostate stem cells or their progeny. Tight junctions (TJs) are crucial to the process of metastasis and have been previously shown to be regulated by HGF. The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of HGF on the function of TJs in human prostate epithelial, prostate stem cell-like and prostate cancer cell lines. Four human prostate cancer cell lines (PC-3, DU-145, PZHPV-7, CaHPV-10), normal adult prostate parental epithelial cells (RWPE-1) and a stem cell-like derivative of RWPE-1 (WPE-STEM) were used to assess HGF-induced changes in TJs. A significant difference was noted in the behaviour between the WPE-STEM, RWPE-1 and the cancer cell lines which was HGF concentration-dependent. However, in the WPE-STEM cells, the effect was biphasic, with the cells seemingly resistant to HGF-modulated TJ disruption. Closer examination revealed that HGF affected the redistribution of ZO-1, ZO-2 and ZO-3 away from the TJs of confluent cells with concurrent loss of claudin-1 and claudin-5, and western blot analysis revealed a loss in TJ protein expression of ZO-1 and ZO-2. We demonstrated for the first time that HGF regulates TJ function in human prostate cells. Moreover, this regulation was dependent on the tumourigenicity of the cells, with the most aggressive cells most susceptible and the stem cell-like cells least susceptible. These data offer an intriguing glimpse of how TJs affect the behaviour of prostate cancer cells and how HGF modulates the expression and function of the molecules maintaining TJ structure and function.

Baandrup L, Friis S, Dehlendorff C, et al.
Prescription use of paracetamol and risk for ovarian cancer in Denmark.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014; 106(6):dju111 [PubMed] Related Publications
It has been suggested that paracetamol reduces the risk for ovarian cancer. We examined the association between prescription use of paracetamol and ovarian cancer risk in a nationwide case-control study nested within the Danish female population. Case patients (n = 3471) were all women with a first diagnosis of epithelial ovarian cancer during the period from 2000 to 2009. Population control subjects (n = 50576) were selected by risk set sampling. Data were derived from prescription and other nationwide registries. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and two-sided 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for ovarian cancer associated with use of paracetamol or nonaspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). All statistical tests were two-sided. Use of paracetamol was associated with a reduced odds ratio for ovarian cancer (OR = 0.82; 95% CI = 0.74 to 0.92; P < .001) compared with nonuse, and the odds ratio decreased further with long-term (≥10 years), high-intensity paracetamol use (OR = 0.45; 95% CI = 0.24 to 0.86; P = .02). Use of nonaspirin NSAIDs was not associated with ovarian cancer risk.

Gacche RN, Meshram RJ
Angiogenic factors as potential drug target: efficacy and limitations of anti-angiogenic therapy.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014; 1846(1):161-79 [PubMed] Related Publications
Formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) has been demonstrated to be a basic prerequisite for sustainable growth and proliferation of tumor. Several growth factors, cytokines, small peptides and enzymes support tumor growth either independently or in synergy. Decoding the crucial mechanisms of angiogenesis in physiological and pathological state has remained a subject of intense interest during the past three decades. Currently, the most widely preferred approach for arresting tumor angiogenesis is the blockade of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway; however, the clinical usage of this modality is still limited by several factors such as adverse effects, toxicity, acquired drug resistance, and non-availability of valid biomarkers. Nevertheless, angiogenesis, being a normal physiological process imposes limitations in maneuvering it as therapeutic target for tumor angiogenesis. The present review offers an updated relevant literature describing the role of well-characterized angiogenic factors, such as VEGF, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), placenta growth factor (PLGF), hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF) and angiopoetins (ANGs) in regulating tumor angiogenesis. We have also attempted to discuss tumor angiogenesis with a perspective of 'an attractive target with emerging challenges', along with the limitations and present status of anti-angiogenic therapy in the current state-of-the-art.

Nakade J, Takeuchi S, Nakagawa T, et al.
Triple inhibition of EGFR, Met, and VEGF suppresses regrowth of HGF-triggered, erlotinib-resistant lung cancer harboring an EGFR mutation.
J Thorac Oncol. 2014; 9(6):775-83 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 25/07/2015 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Met activation by gene amplification and its ligand, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), imparts resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in EGFR-mutant lung cancer. We recently reported that Met activation by HGF stimulates the production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and facilitates angiogenesis, which indicates that HGF induces EGFR-TKI resistance and angiogenesis. This study aimed to determine the effect of triple inhibition of EGFR, Met, and angiogenesis on HGF-triggered EGFR-TKI resistance in EGFR-mutant lung cancer.
METHODS: Three clinically approved drugs, erlotinib (an EGFR inhibitor), crizotinib (an inhibitor of anaplastic lymphoma kinase and Met), and bevacizumab (anti-VEGF antibody), and TAS-115, a novel dual TKI for Met and VEGF receptor 2, were used in this study. EGFR-mutant lung cancer cell lines PC-9, HCC827, and HGF-gene-transfected PC-9 (PC-9/HGF) cells were examined.
RESULTS: Crizotinib and TAS-115 inhibited Met phosphorylation and reversed erlotinib resistance and VEGF production triggered by HGF in PC-9 and HCC827 cells in vitro. Bevacizumab and TAS-115 inhibited angiogenesis in PC-9/HGF tumors in vivo. Moreover, the triplet erlotinib, crizotinib, and bevacizumab, or the doublet erlotinib and TAS-115 successfully inhibited PC-9/HGF tumor growth and delayed tumor regrowth associated with sustained tumor vasculature inhibition even after cessation of the treatment.
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that triple inhibition of EGFR, HGF/Met, and VEGF/VEGF receptor 2, by either a triplet of clinical drugs or TAS-115 combined with erlotinib, may be useful for controlling progression of EGFR-mutant lung cancer by reversing EGFR-TKI resistance and for inhibiting angiogenesis.

Yin M, Wang X, Yao G, et al.
Transactivation of micrornA-320 by microRNA-383 regulates granulosa cell functions by targeting E2F1 and SF-1 proteins.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(26):18239-57 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 27/06/2015 Related Publications
Our previous studies have shown that microRNA-320 (miR-320) is one of the most down-regulated microRNAs (miRNA) in mouse ovarian granulosa cells (GCs) after TGF-β1 treatment. However, the underlying mechanisms of miR-320 involved in GC function during follicular development remain unknown. In this study, we found that pregnant mare serum gonadotropin treatment resulted in the suppression of miR-320 expression in a time-dependent manner. miR-320 was mainly expressed in GCs and oocytes of mouse ovarian follicles in follicular development. Overexpression of miR-320 inhibited estradiol synthesis and proliferation of GCs through targeting E2F1 and SF-1. E2F1/SF-1 mediated miR-320-induced suppression of GC proliferation and of GC steroidogenesis. FSH down-regulated the expression of miR-320 and regulated the function of miR-320 in mouse GCs. miR-383 promoted the expression of miR-320 and enhanced miR-320-mediated suppression of GC proliferation. Injection of miR-320 into the ovaries of mice partially promoted the production of testosterone and progesterone but inhibited estradiol release in vivo. Moreover, the expression of miR-320 and miR-383 was up-regulated in the follicular fluid of polycystic ovarian syndrome patients, although the expression of E2F1 and SF-1 was down-regulated in GCs. These data demonstrated that miR-320 regulates the proliferation and steroid production by targeting E2F1 and SF-1 in the follicular development. Understanding the regulation of miRNA biogenesis and function in the follicular development will potentiate the usefulness of miRNA in the treatment of reproduction and some steroid-related disorders.

Kwon MJ, Kim DH, Park HR, et al.
Frequent hepatocyte growth factor overexpression and low frequency of c-Met gene amplification in human papillomavirus-negative tonsillar squamous cell carcinoma and their prognostic significances.
Hum Pathol. 2014; 45(7):1327-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is an important prognostic factor for tonsillar squamous cell carcinoma (TSCC). HPV-positive and HPV-negative TSCCs are considered distinct in terms of prognosis and sensitivity to chemo/radiotherapy. However, to date, no study has thoroughly evaluated the individual prognostic factors for these 2 disease subgroups. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-Met signaling pathway can be a predictive marker for prognosis or therapy response, especially in HPV-negative TSCC. We therefore investigated the prognostic values of HGF and c-Met expression in TSCC according to HPV status. Immunohistochemical analyses of HGF and c-Met protein expression and silver in situ hybridization of c-Met gene copy number were performed in 79 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens. In HPV-negative TSCC, HGF overexpression, regional lymph node category, and ipsilateral cervical nodal metastasis predicted decreased overall survival (OS) (P = .017, P = .024, and P = .003, respectively). The latter 2 were also independent prognostic factors for progression-free survival (P = .023 and P = .002, respectively). In HPV-positive TSCC, heavy alcohol consumption and advanced primary tumor category were predictive of progression-free survival, whereas no independent prognostic factor for OS was identified. HGF overexpression had a significant effect on OS in HPV-negative TSCC but not in HPV-positive TSCC. HPV-negative/HGF-high expression tumors exhibited the worst survival outcomes, whereas HPV-positive/HGF-low expression tumors had the most favorable prognosis. c-Met expression and c-Met gene amplification were not associated with survival outcomes in TSCC patients. In conclusion, HGF may be a potential prognostic marker in HPV-negative TSCC, whereas c-Met exhibited limited clinical significance in TSCC.

Minna E, Romeo P, De Cecco L, et al.
miR-199a-3p displays tumor suppressor functions in papillary thyroid carcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(9):2513-28 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 27/06/2015 Related Publications
Thyroid cancer incidence is rapidly increasing. Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma (PTC), the most frequent hystotype, usually displays good prognosis, but no effective therapeutic options are available for the fraction of progressive PTC patients. BRAF and RET/PTC are the most frequent driving genetic lesions identified in PTC. We developed two complementary in vitro models based on RET/PTC1 oncogene, starting from the hypothesis that miRNAs modulated by a driving PTC-oncogene are likely to have a role in thyroid neoplastic processes. Through this strategy, we identified a panel of deregulated miRNAs. Among these we focused on miR-199a-3p and showed its under-expression in PTC specimens and cell lines. We demonstrated that miR-199a-3p restoration in PTC cells reduces MET and mTOR protein levels, impairs migration and proliferation and, more interesting, induces lethality through an unusual form of cell death similar to methuosis, caused by macropinocytosis dysregulation. Silencing MET or mTOR, both involved in survival pathways, does not recapitulate miR-199a-3p-induced cell lethality, thus suggesting that the cooperative regulation of multiple gene targets is necessary. Integrated analysis of miR-199a-3p targets unveils interesting networks including HGF and macropinocytosis pathways. Overall our results indicate miR-199a-3p as a tumor suppressor miRNA in PTC.

Liu B, Wang Z, Li HY, et al.
Pim-3 promotes human pancreatic cancer growth by regulating tumor vasculogenesis.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 31(6):2625-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pim-3, a proto-oncogene with serine/threonine kinase activity, is aberrantly expressed in malignant lesions, but not in normal pancreatic tissues. To assess the role of Pim-3 in human pancreatic carcinogenesis in vivo and to determine the underlying Pim-3 signaling regulatory mechanisms, we established MiaPaca-2 cells overexpressing wild-type Pim-3 or Pim-3 kinase dead mutants (K69M-Pim-3) as well as PCI55 cells stably expressing Pim-3 shRNA or scrambled shRNA in a tetracycline-inducible manner. In addition, we conducted studies utilizing a nude mouse tumor xenograft model. Our results demonstrated that cells stably overexpressing wild-type Pim-3 exhibited functionally enhanced phosphorylation of Bad at Ser112 and increased proliferation. In contrast, the stable inactivation of Pim-3 by K69M-Pim-3 or silencing of Pim-3 expression by Pim-3 shRNA resulted in functionally decreased phosphorylation of Bad at Ser112 and higher apoptotic cells. Following subcutaneous injection of these stable cell lines, nude mice injected with Pim-3 overexpressing cells developed 100% subcutaneous tumors, together with increased PCNA-positive cells and enhanced intratumoral CD31-positive vascular areas. On the other hand, intratumoral neovascularization and tumor cell proliferation was attenuated in mice injected with Pim-3 kinase inactive cells, eventually reducing tumorigenicity in these mice to 46.6%. Moreover, Pim-3 overexpression upregulated the intratumoral levels of pSTAT3Try705, pSurvivinThr34, HGF, EGF, FGF-2 and VEGF, while the increases were markedly diminished on Pim-3 kinase inactivation. Collectively, the Pim-3 kinase emerges as being involved in accelerating human pancreatic cancer development and in promoting tumor neovascularization and subsequent tumor growth. Targeting Pim-3 may play a dual role in halting tumor progression, by promoting tumor cell death and blocking angiogenesis.

Konieczkowski DJ, Johannessen CM, Abudayyeh O, et al.
A melanoma cell state distinction influences sensitivity to MAPK pathway inhibitors.
Cancer Discov. 2014; 4(7):816-27 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 27/06/2015 Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Most melanomas harbor oncogenic BRAF(V600) mutations, which constitutively activate the MAPK pathway. Although MAPK pathway inhibitors show clinical benefit in BRAF(V600)-mutant melanoma, it remains incompletely understood why 10% to 20% of patients fail to respond. Here, we show that RAF inhibitor-sensitive and inhibitor-resistant BRAF(V600)-mutant melanomas display distinct transcriptional profiles. Whereas most drug-sensitive cell lines and patient biopsies showed high expression and activity of the melanocytic lineage transcription factor MITF, intrinsically resistant cell lines and biopsies displayed low MITF expression but higher levels of NF-κB signaling and the receptor tyrosine kinase AXL. In vitro, these MITF-low/NF-κB-high melanomas were resistant to inhibition of RAF and MEK, singly or in combination, and ERK. Moreover, in cell lines, NF-κB activation antagonized MITF expression and induced both resistance marker genes and drug resistance. Thus, distinct cell states characterized by MITF or NF-κB activity may influence intrinsic resistance to MAPK pathway inhibitors in BRAF(V600)-mutant melanoma.
SIGNIFICANCE: Although most BRAF(V600)-mutant melanomas are sensitive to RAF and/or MEK inhibitors, a subset fails to respond to such treatment. This study characterizes a transcriptional cell state distinction linked to MITF and NF-κB that may modulate intrinsic sensitivity of melanomas to MAPK pathway inhibitors.

Feng Y, Minca EC, Lanigan C, et al.
High MET receptor expression but not gene amplification in ALK 2p23 rearrangement positive non-small-cell lung cancer.
J Thorac Oncol. 2014; 9(5):646-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Overexpression of MET receptor tyrosine kinase and its ligand hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and MET gene amplification have been well-documented in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Activated MET signaling plays an important role in human cancer tumorigenesis, metastasis, and drug resistance. However, the deregulation of MET/HGF pathway in NSCLC harboring ALK gene rearrangement (ALK[+]), which is sensitive to dual ALK and MET inhibitor Crizotinib, has not been reported.
METHODS: We performed systematic analysis of MET/HGF expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and MET gene amplification by dual color, dual hapten bright field in situ hybridization in 19 ALK(+) and 73 ALK(-) NSCLC tumor tissues from those who had clinical ALK rearrangement test done at the Cleveland Clinic from August 2010 to January 2013. IHC scoring was interpreted on a standard four-tier system.
RESULTS: The percentage of MET IHC score 0, 1+, 2+, and 3+ were 5.5%, 27.8%, 50.0%, and 16.7% in ALK(+) group, compared with 28.8%, 33.9%, 23.7%, and 13.6% in ALK(-) group, respectively. The MET high expression (IHC score 2 or 3) was significantly higher in ALK(+) group statistically (66.7% versus 37.3%, p = 0.03). HGF-high expression (IHC score 2 or 3) was 33.3% in ALK(+) and 15.8% in ALK(-) (p = 0.17). We identified eight cases in ALK(-) and one case in ALK(+) tumor who had MET gene amplification (18.4% versus 7.1%, p = 0.43) by dual color, dual hapten bright field in situ hybridization. No significant correlation between MET protein receptor expression and gene amplification was identified.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrated for the first time that MET receptor expression, but not MET gene amplification, is significantly increased in ALK(+) NSCLC. MET gene amplification is a relatively rare event in this unique population compared with ALK(-) NSCLC.

Matouk IJ, Raveh E, Abu-lail R, et al.
Oncofetal H19 RNA promotes tumor metastasis.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014; 1843(7):1414-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
The oncofetal H19 gene transcribes a long non-coding RNA(lncRNA) that is essential for tumor growth. Here we found that numerous established inducers of epithelial to mesenchymal transition(EMT) also induced H19/miR-675 expression. Both TGF-β and hypoxia concomitantly induced H19 and miR-675 with the induction of EMT markers. We identified the PI3K/AKT pathway mediating the inductions of Slug, H19 RNA and miR-675 in response to TGF-β treatment, while Slug induction depended on H19 RNA. In the EMT induced multidrug resistance model, H19 level was also induced. In a mouse breast cancer model, H19 expression was tightly correlated with metastatic potential. In patients, we detected high H19 expression in all common metastatic sites tested, regardless of tumor primary origin. H19 RNA suppressed the expression of E-cadherin protein. H19 up-regulated Slug expression concomitant with the suppression of E-cadherin protein through a mechanism that involved miR-675. Slug also up-regulated H19 expression and activated its promoter. Altogether, these results may support the existence of a positive feedback loop between Slug and H19/miR-675, that regulates E-cadherin expression. H19 RNA enhanced the invasive potential of cancer cells in vitro and enhanced tumor metastasis in vivo. Additionally, H19 knockdown attenuated the scattering and tumorigenic effects of HGF/SF. Our results present novel mechanistic insights into a critical role for H19 RNA in tumor progression and indicate a previously unknown link between H19/miR-675, Slug and E-cadherin in the regulation of cancer cell EMT programs.

Taskesen E, Havermans M, van Lom K, et al.
Two splice-factor mutant leukemia subgroups uncovered at the boundaries of MDS and AML using combined gene expression and DNA-methylation profiling.
Blood. 2014; 123(21):3327-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mutations in splice factor (SF) genes occur more frequently in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) than in acute myeloid leukemias (AML). We sequenced complementary DNA from bone marrow of 47 refractory anemia with excess blasts (RAEB) patients, 29 AML cases with low marrow blast cell count, and 325 other AML patients and determined the presence of SF-hotspot mutations in SF3B1, U2AF35, and SRSF2. SF mutations were found in 10 RAEB, 12 AML cases with low marrow blast cell count, and 25 other AML cases. Our study provides evidence that SF-mutant RAEB and SF-mutant AML are clinically, cytologically, and molecularly highly similar. An integrated analysis of genomewide messenger RNA (mRNA) expression profiling and DNA-methylation profiling data revealed 2 unique patient clusters highly enriched for SF-mutant RAEB/AML. The combined genomewide mRNA expression profiling/DNA-methylation profiling signatures revealed 1 SF-mutant patient cluster with an erythroid signature. The other SF-mutant patient cluster was enriched for NRAS/KRAS mutations and showed an inferior survival. We conclude that SF-mutant RAEB/AML constitutes a related disorder overriding the artificial separation between AML and MDS, and that SF-mutant RAEB/AML is composed of 2 molecularly and clinically distinct subgroups. We conclude that SF-mutant disorders should be considered as myeloid malignancies that transcend the boundaries of AML and MDS.

Cougnoux A, Dalmasso G, Martinez R, et al.
Bacterial genotoxin colibactin promotes colon tumour growth by inducing a senescence-associated secretory phenotype.
Gut. 2014; 63(12):1932-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Escherichia coli strains harbouring the pks island (pks+ E. coli) are often seen in human colorectal tumours and have a carcinogenic effect independent of inflammation in an AOM/IL-10(-/-) (azoxymethane/interleukin) mouse model.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the mechanism sustaining pks+ E. coli-induced carcinogenesis.
METHOD: Underlying cell processes were investigated in vitro and in vivo (xenograft model) using intestinal epithelial cells infected by pks+ E. coli or by an isogenic mutant defective for pks (pks- E. coli). The results were supported by data obtained from an AOM/DSS (azoxymethane/dextran sodium sulphate) colon cancer mouse model and from human colon cancer biopsy specimens colonised by pks+ E. coli or pks- E. coli.
RESULTS: Colibactin-producing E. coli enhanced tumour growth in both xenograft and AOM/DSS models. Growth was sustained by cellular senescence (a direct consequence of small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO)-conjugated p53 accumulation), which was accompanied by the production of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). The underlying mechanisms involve microRNA-20a-5p, which targets SENP1, a key protein regulating p53 deSUMOylation. These results are consistent with the expression of SENP1, microRNA-20a-5p, HGF and phosphorylation of HGF receptor found in human and mouse colon cancers colonised by pks+ E. coli.
CONCLUSION: These data reveal a new paradigm for carcinogenesis, in which colibactin-induced senescence has an important role.

Kanteti R, El-Hashani E, Dhanasingh I, et al.
Role of PAX8 in the regulation of MET and RON receptor tyrosine kinases in non-small cell lung cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:185 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 27/06/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) are highly heterogeneous at the molecular level and comprise 75% of all lung tumors. We have previously shown that the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) MET frequently suffers gain-of-function mutations that significantly promote lung tumorigenesis. Subsequent studies from our lab also revealed that PAX5 transcription factor is preferentially expressed in small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and promotes MET transcription. PAX8, however, is also expressed in NSCLC cell lines. We therefore investigated the role of PAX8 in NSCLC.
METHODS: Using IHC analysis, PAX8 protein expression was determined in archival NSCLC tumor tissues (n = 254). In order to study the effects of PAX8 knockdown on NSCLC cellular functions such as apoptosis and motility, siRNA against PAX8 was used. Confocal fluorescence microscopy was used to monitor the localization of MET, RON and PAX8. The combinatorial effect of PAX8 knockdown and MET inhibition using SU11274 was investigated in NSCLC cell viability assay.
RESULTS: Relative levels of PAX8 protein were elevated (≥ + 2 on a scale of 0-3) in adenocarcinoma (58/94), large cell carcinoma (50/85), squamous cell carcinoma (28/47), and metastatic NSCLC (17/28; lymph node). Utilizing early progenitors isolated from NSCLC cell lines and fresh tumor tissues, we observed robust overexpression of PAX8, MET, and RON. PAX8 knockdown A549 cells revealed abrogated PAX8 expression with a concomitant loss in MET and the related RON kinase expression. A dramatic colocalization between the active form of MET (also RON) and PAX8 upon challenging A549 cells with HGF was visualized. A similar colocalization of MET and EGL5 (PAX8 ortholog) proteins was found in embryos of C. elegans. Most importantly, knockdown of PAX8 in A549 cells resulted in enhanced apoptosis (~6 fold) and decreased cell motility (~45%), thereby making PAX8 a potential therapeutic target. However, the combinatorial approach of PAX8 knockdown and treatment with MET inhibitor, SU11274, had marginal additive effect on loss of NSCLC cell viability.
CONCLUSION: PAX8 provides signals for growth and motility of NSCLC cells and is necessary for MET and RON expression. Further investigations are necessary to investigate the therapeutic potential of PA8 in NSCLC.

Lee KH, Choi EY, Koh SA, et al.
IL-1β-stimulated urokinase plasminogen activator expression through NF-κB in gastric cancer after HGF treatment.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 31(5):2123-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
The potential of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) to regulate the expression of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) in a gastric cancer cell is not widely acknowledged. To identify the genes associated with the plasminogen activator proteolytic axis by HGF, we used cDNA microarray technology and selected genes upregulated or downregulated in two gastric cell lines (NUGC-3 and MKN-28). First, IL-1β RNA and protein were confirmed to be upregulated. Then, we investigated the effect of IL-1β induced by HGF on the uPA system, facilitating the migration and invasion of cancer cells in the metastatic process. The role for IL-1β in HGF-induced upregulation of uPA was determined by knockdown of IL-1β with IL-1β shRNA and a chromatin immune precipitation assay. The levels of IL-1β and uPA were upregulated in cells treated with HGF in a dose-dependent manner. HGF-induced upregulation of uPA was suppressed by IL-1β knockdown. HGF enhanced the binding activity of NF-κB to the uPA promoter in control cells, but not in the IL-1β shRNA cells. We confirmed the functional role of HGF inactivation of the uPA promoter by a reporter gene assay. Downregulation of IL-1β using IL-1β shRNA also decreased cell proliferation and in vitro cell invasion. IL-1β stimulated uPA expression through ERK and NF-κB in gastric cancer, which may therefore be promising targets for gastric cancer therapy.

Dai W, Wang C, Wang F, et al.
Anti-miR-197 inhibits migration in HCC cells by targeting KAI 1/CD82.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 446(2):541-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To investigate the metastatic effects and mechanisms of miR-197 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS AND RESULTS: The levels of miR-197 increased in HCC cells and tissues compared with a normal hepatic cell line (LO2) and adjacent nontumorous liver tissues, respectively. miR-197 expression negatively correlated with CD82 mRNA expression in these cell lines and tissues. Dual luciferase reporter assay and Western blot confirmed a direct interaction between miR-197 and CD82 3'UTR sequences. After miR-197 was silenced in HCC cells, CD82 expression increased. In the presence of human hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), cells silenced for anti-miR-197 exhibited elongated cellular tails and diminished lamellipodia due to reductions in both ROCK activity and the levels of Rac 1 protein. Downregulation of miR-197 along with the upregulation of CD82 in HCC cells resulted in the inhibition of HCC migration and invasion in vitro and in vivo.
CONCLUSION: Taken together, these data suggest that anti-miR-197 suppresses HCC migration and invasion by targeting CD82. The regulation of the miR-197/CD82 axis could be a novel therapeutic target in future HCC effective therapy.

Sun YP, Zhang BL, Duan JW, et al.
Effect of NK4 transduction in bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells on biological characteristics of pancreatic cancer cells.
Int J Mol Sci. 2014; 15(3):3729-45 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 27/06/2015 Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer usually has a poor prognosis, and no gene therapy has yet been developed that is effective to treat it. Since a unique characteristic of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is that they migrate to tumor tissues, we wanted to determine whether MSCs could serve as a vehicle of gene therapy for targeting pancreatic cancer. First, we successfully extracted MSCs from SD rats. Next, MSCs were efficiently transduced with NK4, an antagonist of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) which comprising the N-terminal and the subsequent four kringle domains of HGF, by an adenoviral vector. Then, we confirmed that rat MSCs preferentially migrate to pancreatic cancer cells. Last, MSCs expressing NK4 (NK4-MSCs) strongly inhibited proliferation and migration of the pancreatic cancer cell line SW1990 after co-culture. These results indicate that MSCs can serve as a vehicle of gene therapy for targeting pancreatic cancer.

Pan Q, Hu T, Malley JD, et al.
A system-level pathway-phenotype association analysis using synthetic feature random forest.
Genet Epidemiol. 2014; 38(3):209-19 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 27/06/2015 Related Publications
As the cost of genome-wide genotyping decreases, the number of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) has increased considerably. However, the transition from GWAS findings to the underlying biology of various phenotypes remains challenging. As a result, due to its system-level interpretability, pathway analysis has become a popular tool for gaining insights on the underlying biology from high-throughput genetic association data. In pathway analyses, gene sets representing particular biological processes are tested for significant associations with a given phenotype. Most existing pathway analysis approaches rely on single-marker statistics and assume that pathways are independent of each other. As biological systems are driven by complex biomolecular interactions, embracing the complex relationships between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and pathways needs to be addressed. To incorporate the complexity of gene-gene interactions and pathway-pathway relationships, we propose a system-level pathway analysis approach, synthetic feature random forest (SF-RF), which is designed to detect pathway-phenotype associations without making assumptions about the relationships among SNPs or pathways. In our approach, the genotypes of SNPs in a particular pathway are aggregated into a synthetic feature representing that pathway via Random Forest (RF). Multiple synthetic features are analyzed using RF simultaneously and the significance of a synthetic feature indicates the significance of the corresponding pathway. We further complement SF-RF with pathway-based Statistical Epistasis Network (SEN) analysis that evaluates interactions among pathways. By investigating the pathway SEN, we hope to gain additional insights into the genetic mechanisms contributing to the pathway-phenotype association. We apply SF-RF to a population-based genetic study of bladder cancer and further investigate the mechanisms that help explain the pathway-phenotype associations using SEN. The bladder cancer associated pathways we found are both consistent with existing biological knowledge and reveal novel and plausible hypotheses for future biological validations.

Martino A, Campa D, Jurczyszyn A, et al.
Genetic variants and multiple myeloma risk: IMMEnSE validation of the best reported associations--an extensive replication of the associations from the candidate gene era.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014; 23(4):670-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Genetic background plays a role in multiple myeloma susceptibility. Several single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) associated with genetic susceptibility to multiple myeloma were identified in the last years, but only a few of them were validated in independent studies.
METHODS: With the aim to conclusively validate the strongest associations so far reported, we selected the polymorphisms rs2227667 (SERPINE1), rs17501108 (HGF), rs3136685 (CCR7), rs16944 (IL1B), rs12147254 (TRAF3), rs1805087 (MTR), rs1800629 (TNF-α), rs7516435 (CASP9), rs1042265 (BAX), rs2234922 (mEH), and rs1801133 (MTHFR). We genotyped them in 1,498 multiple myeloma cases and 1,934 controls ascertained in the context of the International Multiple Myeloma rESEarch (IMMEnSE) consortium, and meta-analyzed our results with previously published ones.
RESULTS: None of the selected SNPs were significantly associated with multiple myeloma risk (P value range, 0.055-0.981), possibly with the exception of the SNP rs2227667 (SERPINE1) in women.
CONCLUSIONS: We can exclude that the selected polymorphisms are major multiple myeloma risk factors.
IMPACT: Independent validation studies are crucial to identify true genetic risk factors. Our large-scale study clarifies the role of previously published polymorphisms in multiple myeloma risk.

Chen XP, Ren XP, Lan JY, et al.
Analysis of HGF, MACC1, C-met and apoptosis-related genes in cervical carcinoma mice.
Mol Biol Rep. 2014; 41(3):1247-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
To understand the underlying pharmacological basis and the molecular mechanism of Taxol in therapy of cervical carcinoma (CC) disease, we need to explore the effect of Taxol on CC-related genes and pro-apoptosis and anti-apoptosis genes expression. Immunohistochemistry, western blot and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction were applied to examine postive expression levels of Bcl-2, Bax and Caspase-3, HGF, MACC1, Caspase-3 and C-met proteins and MACC1 mRNA expression in tumour of CC mice. Results showed that treatment of Taxol could increase the inhibition rate of tumour growth, positive expression levels of Caspase-3, Bax and decrease positive expression levels of Bcl-2 and Bcl-2/Bax, expression levels of HGF, MACC1 and C-met proteins and MACC1 mRNA in tumour tissue of CC mice. It can be concluded that inhibitory activity of Taxol against tumour growth in CC mice is closely associated with its modulating positive expression of Bcl-2, Bax, Caspase-3, expression of HGF, MACC1, Caspase-3 and C-met proteins and MACC1 mRNA in tumour of CC mice. In conclusion, HGF, MACC1 and C-met genes involve into malignant cervical tumors occurrence, development and prognosis, and might become potential molecular target therapy site of cervical cancer. Taxol intervention may serve as a multi-targeted CC therapeutic capable of inducing selective cancer cell death.

Rocci A, Gambella M, Aschero S, et al.
MET dysregulation is a hallmark of aggressive disease in multiple myeloma patients.
Br J Haematol. 2014; 164(6):841-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
Abnormal activation of MET/HGF (Hepatocyte Growth Factor) pathway has been described in several tumours and increased HGF plasmatic levels have been detected in patients with aggressive multiple myeloma (MM). MET and HGF mRNA expression was investigated in 105 samples of purified plasma cells derived from newly diagnosed MM patients treated with bortezomib-based induction therapy. Gene expression was compared with response to therapy and clinical outcome. MET gene copy number was also evaluated. MET mRNA expression was higher in CD138(+) than in CD138(-) cells (median 76·90 vs. 11·24; P = 0·0009). Low MET mRNA expression characterized patients with better response (complete response or very good partial response) compared to other patients (median 56·10 vs. 134·83; P = 0·0006). After a median follow-up of 50 months, patients with high MET mRNA expression displayed a worse progression-free survival (PFS; P = 0·0029) and overall survival (OS; P = 0·0023) compared to those with low MET mRNA levels. Patients with both high MET mRNA expression and high β2-microglobulin level (>5·5 mg/l) had further worse median PFS (P < 0·0001) and OS (P < 0·0001). Patients carrying 4 MET gene copies (8 out of 82, 9·8%) also had a short PFS. High MET mRNA expression identifies patients with dismal PFS and OS and the combination with high β2-microglobulin further characterizes patients with worse outcome.

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