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Laryngoscope. 1998 Sep;108(9):1413-7.

Overexpression of scatter factor and its receptor (c-met) in oral squamous cell carcinoma.

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Department of Otolaryngology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville 32610, USA.



Scatter factor (SF) is a pleiotropic growth factor that recently has been shown to induce epithelial cell proliferation, random motility, and invasion via interaction with its receptor, a tyrosine kinase encoded by the c-met proto-oncogene. Studies involving a variety of solid tumors have suggested that overexpression of the SF/c-met ligand-receptor pair is associated with the acquisition of a malignant phenotype. We hypothesize that SF and c-met are overexpressed in epithelial malignancies of the head and neck including squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the oral cavity.


Immunohistochemical staining of randomly selected normal, dysplastic, and malignant oral tissues.


Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues were obtained from the Department of Oral Pathology at Shands Hospital (University of Florida), Gainesville, Florida. Examples of mild dysplasia, severe dysplasia, well-differentiated SCC, moderately differentiated SCC, and poorly differentiated SCC were randomly selected from the dictated reports of one of two staff oral pathologists. Histologically normal margins of each specimen served as normal controls. The tissues were immunohistochemically stained using commercially available antibodies against SF and c-met. Appropriate negative controls were run with each batch to ensure staining specificity. Evaluation of staining intensity was carried out using a computerized image analysis system. A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with pairwise multiple-comparison procedures (Fisher method) was used to analyze the data.


Statistically significant differences (P < .0001) in the intensity of staining were noted between the malignant and normal and the malignant and dysplastic tissues for both SF and c-met. No differences were appreciated when staining of normal and dysplastic sections of the SF-stained tissue were compared.


The results suggest that the SF/c-met ligand-receptor pair is overexpressed in SCC of the oral cavity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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