Journal Article

Aberrant expression of hepatocyte growth factor and its receptor, c-Met, during sex hormone-induced prostatic carcinogenesis in the Noble rat

N.N.C. Tam, S.S.M. Chung, D.T.W. Lee and Y.C. Wong

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 21, issue 12, pages 2183-2191
Published in print December 2000 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online December 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Aberrant expression of hepatocyte growth factor and its receptor, c-Met, during sex hormone-induced prostatic carcinogenesis in the Noble rat

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics


Show Summary Details


Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a multifunctional cytokine which acts as a mitogen, motogen, morphogen and angiogenic factor of epithelial cells. HGF receptor is encoded by a proto-oncogene, c-met, which is overexpressed in various cancers. The role of HGF and c-Met in prostate carcinogenesis, especially in the early stages, is undefined. In this study, prostatic dysplasia and carcinomas were induced by testosterone propionate and 17β-estradiol in Noble rats. The expression of HGF and c-Met was assessed at a protein level by immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis. Intense immunostaining for HGFα and c-Met β-chain was co-localized in dysplastic lesions and in primary and metastatic cancer cells. The levels of HGFα expression were similar among normal control, dysplastic and cancerous prostate tissues, as determined by western blot analysis. Immunoblot study for c-Met under reducing conditions identified two bands at 145 kDa (β-subunit of c-Met) and 170 kDa (precursor form of c-Met) in rat liver extracts. However, two bands at ~220 and 245 kDa were detected in hormone-treated dysplastic prostate tissues and primary tumors. Overexpression of the 220 kDa band was observed in long-term (10–12 months) hormone-treated prostate and primary tumor extracts. Metastatic tumors consistently exhibited up-regulation of a single 245 kDa band. Under non-reducing conditions, however, protein bands of 220, 280 or 300 kDa were seen in the blots. The hormone-treated prostate tissues and metastatic tumors expressed the 220 and 300 kDa proteins, respectively. The majority of primary tumors expressed the 280 kDa protein. In summary, HGF and its receptor, c-Met, were co-expressed in dysplastic and tumor cells, suggesting that an autocrine mode of action may be involved in prostate carcinogenesis. The close correlation of expression of the high-molecular-weight isoforms of c-Met with different stages of carcinogenesis implicates that they might play differential roles in the onset, progression, growth and metastasis in prostate cancer.

Keywords: E2, 17β-estradiol; HGF, hepatocyte growth factor; LP, lateral lobe of prostate; T, testosterone; PVDF, polyvinylidene difluoride.

Journal Article.  6635 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.