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Nature. 1989 May 11;339(6220):155-6.

Tyrosine kinase receptor indistinguishable from the c-met protein.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences and Oncology, University of Torino, Italy.


Growth factor receptors with protein tyrosine kinase activity are central to the control of proliferation of both normal and malignant cells. Using anti-phosphotyrosine antibodies, we have previously identified a transmembrane glycoprotein with abnormally high protein tyrosine kinase activity in a human gastric tumour cell line (GTL-16). Electrophoresis under non-reducing conditions revealed that this kinase (relative molecular mass 145,000 (145 K)) is disulphide-linked to a 50K chain in an alpha beta-complex of 190K (p190). From its novel two-chain structure, we deduced that p190 was the prototype of a new class of tyrosine kinase receptors. We now show that p190 is indistinguishable from the protein encoded by the c-met proto-oncogene and that the alpha beta-subunit structure is conserved in other human cell lines. We also show that the high level of p190 found in the GTL-16 cell line is accompanied by amplification and overexpression of c-met. This provides the first example of a functional alteration of c-met in a human tumour cell line.

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