Activation of Wnt signaling in the intestinal mucosa of of Apc+/min mice does not cause overexpression of the receptor tyrosine kinase Met

Elles M.J. Boon, Walter Pouwels, Sandra Redeker, Sander P.J. Joosten, Jörg Hamann, Ronald van der Neut, Steven T. Pals*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The receptor tyrosine kinase MET is overexpressed in human colorectal adenomas and carcinomas, suggesting an instrumental role for MET signaling in the onset and progression of colorectal cancer. To corroborate this role, animal models are needed. To study the expression of Met in the normal and neoplastic mouse intestine, we generated an Armenian hamster monoclonal antibody against mouse Met. By using this antibody in immunohistochemical studies, we observed strong Met expression in fetal mouse intestinal epithelial cells. In contrast, in the intestines of adult mice, Met expression was very low whereas the protein was undetectable on the neoplastic epithelium of intestinal adenomas in Apc+/min mice. By immunoblotting, we were also unable to detect Met in intestinal adenomas, whereas Met mRNA levels in microdissected adenomas were very low. The absence of detectable Met protein expression in adenomas of Apc+/min mice contrasts sharply with the vast overexpression of the protein in adenomas of humans with familial adenomatous polyposis or sporadic colorectal carcinomas. Our results imply that deregulation of Wnt signaling in mouse - unlike in human - intestinal epithelium does not result in Met overexpression. Our findings thus reveal important interspecies differences in the regulation of Met expression during intestinal tumorigenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)710-715
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006

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