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HGF/c-MET Signaling in Melanocytes and Melanoma

Department of Molecular Biology of Cancer, Medical University of Lodz, 6/8 Mazowiecka Street, 92-215 Lodz, Poland
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(12), 3844;
Received: 9 November 2018 / Revised: 26 November 2018 / Accepted: 30 November 2018 / Published: 3 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF))
Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/ mesenchymal-epithelial transition factor (c-MET) signaling is involved in complex cellular programs that are important for embryonic development and tissue regeneration, but its activity is also utilized by cancer cells during tumor progression. HGF and c-MET usually mediate heterotypic cell–cell interactions, such as epithelial–mesenchymal, including tumor–stroma interactions. In the skin, dermal fibroblasts are the main source of HGF. The presence of c-MET on keratinocytes is crucial for wound healing in the skin. HGF is not released by normal melanocytes, but as melanocytes express c-MET, they are receptive to HGF, which protects them from apoptosis and stimulates their proliferation and motility. Dissimilar to melanocytes, melanoma cells not only express c-MET, but also release HGF, thus activating c-MET in an autocrine manner. Stimulation of the HGF/c-MET pathways contributes to several processes that are crucial for melanoma development, such as proliferation, survival, motility, and invasiveness, including distant metastatic niche formation. HGF might be a factor in the innate and acquired resistance of melanoma to oncoprotein-targeted drugs. It is not entirely clear whether elevated serum HGF level is associated with low progression-free survival and overall survival after treatment with targeted therapies. This review focuses on the role of HGF/c-MET signaling in melanoma with some introductory information on its function in skin and melanocytes. View Full-Text
Keywords: HGF; MET; skin; melanocytes; melanoma; drug resistance; invasive growth; wound healing; tumor microenvironment HGF; MET; skin; melanocytes; melanoma; drug resistance; invasive growth; wound healing; tumor microenvironment
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Czyz, M. HGF/c-MET Signaling in Melanocytes and Melanoma. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 3844.

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