Purpose: The mesenchymal-epithelial transition factor (c-Met) receptor, also known as hepatocyte growth factor receptor (HGFR), controls morphogenesis, a process that is physiologically required for embryonic development and tissue repair. Aberrant c-Met activation is associated with a variety of human malignancies including cancers of the lung, kidney, stomach, liver, and brain. In this study, we investigated the properties of two novel compounds developed to selectively inhibit the c-Met receptor in antitumor therapeutic interventions.
Experimental design: The pharmacologic properties, c-Met inhibitory activity, and antitumor effects of EMD 1214063 and EMD 1204831 were investigated in vitro and in vivo, using human cancer cell lines and mouse xenograft models.
Results: EMD 1214063 and EMD 1204831 selectively suppressed the c-Met receptor tyrosine kinase activity. Their inhibitory activity was potent [inhibitory 50% concentration (IC50), 3 nmol/L and 9 nmol/L, respectively] and highly selective, when compared with their effect on a panel of 242 human kinases. Both EMD 1214063 and EMD 1204831 inhibited c-Met phosphorylation and downstream signaling in a dose-dependent fashion, but differed in the duration of their inhibitory activity. In murine xenograft models, both compounds induced regression of human tumors, regardless of whether c-Met activation was HGF dependent or independent. Both drugs were well tolerated and induced no substantial weight loss after more than 3 weeks of treatment.
Conclusions: Our results indicate selective c-Met inhibition by EMD 1214063 and EMD 1204831 and strongly support clinical testing of these compounds in the context of molecularly targeted anticancer strategies.