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Clin Cancer Res. 2003 Nov 1;9(14):5161-70.

Reduced c-Met expression by an adenovirus expressing a c-Met ribozyme inhibits tumorigenic growth and lymph node metastases of PC3-LN4 prostate tumor cells in an orthotopic nude mouse model.

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Department of Cancer Biology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.



The expression of c-Met, the receptor protein tyrosine kinase for hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor, frequently increases during prostate tumor progression. However, whether reduced c-Met expression inhibits tumor growth and metastasis has not been ascertained.


c-Met expression was reduced by infection of an adenovirus expressing a c-Met ribozyme into the highly metastatic human prostate cancer cell line PC3-LN4. In vitro, effects on c-Met, Akt, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 expression and phosphorylation, Src expression and activity, and vascular endothelial growth factor expression were determined, as were effects on cell migration and invasion. Prostate tumor formation and metastasis to regional lymph nodes in nude mice were examined after both ex vivo and in vivo infection of cells.


Infection of PC3-LN4 cells with the Ad-c-Met-expressing ribozyme decreased steady-state c-Met levels, decreased Src kinase activity, decreased vascular endothelial growth factor expression, and decreased migration and invasion versus the pU1 (control) virus. Significant inhibition of tumorigenicity (histologically confirmed tumors in only 1 of 10 mice) and consequent lymph node metastasis were observed upon ex vivo infection of Ad-c-Met. Similarly, gene therapy experiments led to complete inhibition of tumor growth in 7 of 8 mice.


Reduction in c-Met expression substantially inhibits both tumor growth and lymph node metastasis of PC3-LN4 cells in orthotopic nude mouse models. Therefore, targeting the c-Met signaling pathways may be important in controlling tumor growth and metastasis in human prostate cancers.

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