Quantification of MET and hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor expression in colorectal adenomas, carcinomas and non-neoplastic epithelia by quantitative laser scanning microscopy
International Journal of Oncology
Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-MET signalling in cancer biology has been well characterized in multiple organ systems. Numerous investigations have described an up-regulation of c-met mRNA in human colorectal adenomas and carcinomas. However, a quantitative immunohistochemical analysis of MET and HGF protein levels in tumor tissues has not been reported previously. Formalin-fixed and paraffinembedded tissues from 41 colorectal adenomas and 49 colorectal carcinomas were characterized by
... orescent staining using HGF-and MET-specific antibodies. The immunoreactivity was evaluated by confocal laser scanning microscopy, computer-based image analysis and appropriate statistical tests. Normal colorectal mucosa, adenomas and carcinomas exhibited comparable levels of MET and HGF proteins. MET expression in carcinomas, although statistically not significant, demonstrated a tendency to correlate with the grade of differentiation. Correlations of MET and HGF with other clinico-pathological variables including the extent of the mucinous component and the pTNM stage were not observed. The ratio of HGF in carcinoma vs. non-neoplastic tissue was significantly different between high and low carcinoma stage. Alterations of absolute levels of MET and HGF protein during the colorectal adenoma-carcinoma sequence were not significant. The presumed role of MET-HGF interactions in large bowel carcinogenesis may therefore be a result of or depend upon other regulatory factors involved in METmediated signalling pathways.