Intermediate cells in normal and malignant prostate epithelium express c-MET: implications for prostate cancer invasion.
SourceProstate, 51, 2, (2002), pp. 98-107
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectTumor pathology; Urological oncology; Tumor pathologie; Urologische oncologie
BACKGROUND: Analysis of keratin (K) expression discriminates luminal (K18) and intermediate (K5/18) cells in prostate carcinoma, while basal (K5/14) cells are absent. Intermediate cells have been proposed as targets of malignant transformation in prostate cancer and precursors of androgen-independent tumor progression. We demonstrate localization of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) receptor c-MET in intermediate cells in both normal and malignant prostate epithelium. METHODS: Receptor localization was analyzed using triple staining for c-MET, K5, K14, and K18. The percentage of strongly c-MET positive cells was determined in 15 prostate cancer patients undergoing androgen-deprivation and 14 patients without neo-adjuvant treatment. Effects of HGF were investigated on prostate cancer cell line DU145. RESULTS: c-MET expression in non-malignant epithelium was strong in intermediate cells absent in differentiated cells, and heterogeneous in basal cells. In prostate cancer, intermediate cells displayed high c-MET levels coupled with mild expression in differentiated cells. During androgen-deprivation, 7.6% of tumor cells revealed high c-MET expression compared to 1.7% without treatment (P = 0.02). Matrigel penetration of DU145 was 8.2 +/- 1.7 mm(2) after HGF stimulation compared to 3.6 +/- 2.4 mm(2) in controls (P < 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: Intermediate cells in normal and malignant prostate epithelium express high c-MET levels, indicating that they are prone to stromal invasion in prostate carcinoma.
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