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Biomedicines 2015, 3(1), 71-88;

HGF/c-MET Axis in Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis Formation

Department of Molecular Medicine and Medical Biotechnology, University of Naples Federico II, Via S. Pansini 5, 80131 Naples, Italy
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Productions, University of Naples Federico II, Via F. Delpino 1, 80137 Naples, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Zimmer Yitzhak
Received: 30 September 2014 / Accepted: 9 December 2014 / Published: 22 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New aspects of the Hepatocyte Growth Factor/c-Met System)
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Tumor metastases are responsible for approximately 90% of all cancer-related deaths. Metastasis formation is a multistep process that requires acquisition by tumor cells of a malignant phenotype that allows them to escape from the primary tumor site and invade other organs. Each step of this mechanism involves a deep crosstalk between tumor cells and their microenvironment where the host cells play a key role in influencing metastatic behavior through the release of many secreted factors. Among these signaling molecules, Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF) is released by many cell types of the tumor microenvironment to target its receptor c-MET within the cells of the primary tumor. Many studies reveal that HGF/c-MET axis is implicated in various human cancers, and genetic and epigenetic gain of functions of this signaling contributes to cancer development through a variety of mechanisms. In this review, we describe the specific types of cells in the tumor microenvironment that release HGF in order to promote the metastatic outgrowth through the activation of extracellular matrix remodeling, inflammation, migration, angiogenesis, and invasion. We dissect the potential use of new molecules that interfere with the HGF/c-MET axis as therapeutic targets for future clinical trials in cancer disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: HGF; c-MET; cancer; microenvironment; metastasis HGF; c-MET; cancer; microenvironment; metastasis

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Spina, A.; De Pasquale, V.; Cerulo, G.; Cocchiaro, P.; Della Morte, R.; Avallone, L.; Pavone, L.M. HGF/c-MET Axis in Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis Formation. Biomedicines 2015, 3, 71-88.

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