The Met oncogene and basal-like breast cancer: another culprit to watch out for?

Breast Cancer Res. 2010;12(4):208. doi: 10.1186/bcr2617. Epub 2010 Aug 23.


Recent findings suggest the involvement of the MET oncogene, encoding the tyrosine kinase receptor for hepatocyte growth factor, in the onset and progression of basal-like breast carcinoma. The expression profiles of basal-like tumors - but not those of other breast cancer subtypes - are enriched for gene sets that are coordinately over-represented in transcriptional signatures regulated by Met. Consistently, tissue microarray analyses have revealed that Met immunoreactivity is much higher in basal-like cases of human breast cancer than in other tumor types. Finally, mouse models expressing mutationally activated forms of Met develop a high incidence of mammary tumors, some of which exhibit basal characteristics. The present review summarizes current knowledge on the role and activity of Met in basal-like breast cancer, with a special emphasis on the correlation between this tumor subtype and the cellular hierarchy of the normal mammary gland.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / genetics
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / metabolism
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms, Basal Cell / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Basal Cell / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms, Basal Cell / pathology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met