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Cancer Res. 2000 Jan 15;60(2):342-9.

The geldanamycins are potent inhibitors of the hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor-met-urokinase plasminogen activator-plasmin proteolytic network.

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  • 1Advanced Bioscience Laboratories-Basic Research Program, National Cancer Institute-Frederick Cancer Research Developmental Center, Frederick, Maryland 21702, USA. craig.webb@vai.org

Abstract

The Met receptor tyrosine kinase and its ligand, hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF), have been implicated in human tumor development and metastasis. HGF/SF induces the expression of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and the uPA receptor (uPAR), important mediators of cell invasion and metastasis. We have developed a cell-based assay to screen for inhibitors of this signaling system using the induction of endogenous uPA and uPAR and the subsequent conversion of plasminogen to plasmin as the biological end point. Assay validation was established using a neutralizing antiserum to HGF/SF and a uPA inhibitor (B428), as well as inhibitors of the MKK-MAPK1/2 pathway, shown previously to be important in the induction of uPA and uPAR. Using this assay, we found several classes of molecules that exhibited inhibition of HGF/SF-dependent plasmin activation. However, we discovered that certain members of the geldanamycin family of anisamycin antibiotics are potent inhibitors of HGF/SF-mediated plasmin activation, displaying inhibitory properties at femtomolar concentrations and nine orders of magnitude below their growth inhibitory concentrations. At nanomolar concentrations, the geldanamycins down-regulate Met protein expression, inhibit HGF/SF-mediated cell motility and invasion, and also revert the phenotype of both autocrine HGF/SF-Met transformed cells as well as those transformed by Met proteins with activating mutations. Thus, the geldanamycins may have important therapeutic potential for the treatment of cancers in which Met activity contributes to the invasive/metastatic phenotype.

PMID:
10667586
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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