Regulation of c-Met-dependent gene expression by PTEN

Oncogene. 2004 Dec 9;23(57):9173-82. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1208146.


Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) and the tumor suppressor PTEN co-regulate oncogenic cell signaling pathways. How these interactions influence gene transcription is inadequately understood. We used expression microarrays to investigate the effects of PTEN on gene expression changes caused by activating c-Met in human glioblastoma cells. c-Met activation by scatter factor/hepatocyte growth factor (SF/HGF) altered the expression of 27-fold more genes in PTEN-null U-373MG cells than in PTEN homozygous primary normal human astrocytes (523 vs 19 genes). Restoring wt-PTEN in U-373MG cells dramatically altered patterns of c-Met regulated gene expression. This effect was varied depending on the specific gene in question. PTEN reduced the number of c-Met regulated transcripts from 931 to 502, decreased the relative number of genes upregulated by c-Met from 46 to 25%, and increased the relative number of downregulated genes from 54 to 75%. PTEN and c-Met co-regulated many genes involved in cell growth regulation such as oncogenes, growth factors, transcription factors, and constituents of the ubiquitin pathway. c-Met activation in PTEN-null (but not PTEN reconstituted) cells led to upregulation of the EGFR agonist TGFalpha and subsequently to EGFR activation. Using PTEN mutants, we found that PTEN's transcriptional effects were either lipid-phosphatase dependent, protein-phosphatase dependent, or phosphatase-independent. These results show that PTEN has critical and mechanistically complex effects on RTK-regulated gene transcription. These findings expand our understanding of tumor promoter/suppressor inter-relationships and downstream transcriptional effects of PTEN loss and c-Met overexpression in malignant gliomas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Northern
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / physiology*
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / physiology
  • Humans
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met / physiology*
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / physiology*


  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase
  • PTEN protein, human