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Clin Exp Metastasis. 2003;20(6):499-505.

Growth factor-dependent activation of the MAPK pathway in human pancreatic cancer: MEK/ERK and p38 MAP kinase interaction in uPA synthesis.

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Department of Hemato-Oncology, College of Medicine, Yeungnam University, Daegu, Korea.


Increased expression of the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) receptor (c-met) and urokinase type plasminogen (uPA) correlated with the development and metastasis of cancers. To investigate the role of HGF/c-met signaling on metastasis in cancer cells stimulated with HGF, we examined the effects of a specific MEK1 inhibitor (PD98059) and a p38 MAP kinase inhibitor (SB203580) on HGF-induced uPA expression in pancreatic cancer cell lines, L3.6PL and IMIM-PC2. Pretreatment of PD98059 decreased HGF-mediated phosphorylation of extracellular receptor kinase (ERK), uPA secretion and expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-2 and MMP-9) in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, SB203580 pretreatment increased HGF-stimulated ERK phosphorylation, uPA secretion and expression of MMPs. SB203580 also reversed the inhibition of HGF-mediated ERK activation and uPA secretion in the PD98059-pretreated cells. These results suggest that ERK activation by HGF might play important roles in the metastasis of pancreatic cancer and the p38 MAPK pathway also involved in the HGF-mediated uPA secretion and metastasis by regulation of ERK pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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