Coexpression of HGF and c-Met/HGF receptor in human bone and soft tissue tumors

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Abstract

To understand the interaction between hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and its receptor c-Met on various bone and soft tissue tumors, their expressions were investigated by western blot analysis, immunohistochemistry and enzyme immunoassay. Western blot analysis revealed that c-Met protein was expressed in 21 (38.8%) of 54 tumors, which detailed to seven (25.9%) of 27 bone tumors and 14 (51.8%) of 27 soft tissue tumors. Most malignant fibrous histiocytomas (MFH) and all neurofibromas expressed c-Met protein. The highest expression of c-Met protein was seen in a case of biphasic synovial sarcoma, where its immunoreactivity was localized only on the epithelial component and not on the sarcomatous component. By enzyme immunoassay for HGF, all but one MFH showed HGF production and the mean level of HGF was the highest among the tumors investigated. Neurofibromas and osteosarcomas had the next highest mean levels of HGF production, respectively. Coexpression of HGF and c-Met was observed in 19 (35.2%) of 54 tumors and was frequently observed in neurofibroma, followed by MFH and synovial sarcoma. Although the mode of interaction between HGF and c-Met varies among the various bone and soft tissue tumors including MFH, their signaling system may play an important role in the development and progression of bone and soft tissue tumors.

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