Activation of c-Met (hepatocyte growth factor receptor) in human gastric cancer tissue

Cancer Sci. 2004 Oct;95(10):803-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2004.tb02185.x.


c-Met is a high-affinity receptor for hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and plays a crucial role in embryonic development, as well as in the process of tissue repair. Overexpression and amplification of c-Met are often observed in various cancer tissues, especially in gastric carcinoma. It has, however, been unclear whether the overexpression leads to activation of the c-Met receptor. To address this point, we prepared an antibody (anti-phospho-Met) which specifically recognizes c-Met that is phosphorylated at Y1235, a major phosphorylation site of c-Met. Normal as well as cancerous gastric tissue was positive for anti-total-Met staining, whereas only cancerous tissue was strongly positive for anti-phospho-Met staining; cells near the basal layer were moderately positive, and the proliferative zone in normal tissue was only weakly positive. Among cancerous tissues from seven patients examined in the present study, those from six patients were strongly positive for phospho-Met staining. These results indicate that c-Met is actually activated in gastric carcinoma tissue, and may trigger proliferation/anti-apoptotic signals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm / immunology
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Gastric Mucosa / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Phosphorylation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met / biosynthesis*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met / immunology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / metabolism*


  • Antibodies, Neoplasm
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met