MET tyrosine kinase and its ligand, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), play a pivotal role in the activties of tumor cells. A germline missense variant in exon 2 of the MET gene, N375S (rs33917957 A>G), may alter the binding affinity of MET for HGF and thus modify the risk of tumorigenesis. In this study, we performed a case-control study to assess the association between N375S and gastric cancer risk in 1,681 gastric cancer cases and 1,858 cancer-free controls. Logistic regression analysis was applied to estimate crude and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations between genotypes and gastric cancer risk. We found that MET N375S variant genotypes (NS/SS) were associated with a significantly decreased risk of gastric cancer (OR = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.63-0.96, P = 0.021) compared with the wildtype homozygote (NN). The finding indicates that this germline variant in MET may decrease gastric cancer susceptibility in Han Chinese.
Keywords: MET; gastric cancer; germline variation; susceptibility.