Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.505, No.3, 925-930, 2018
Disproportionately high levels of HGF induce the degradation of the c-met receptor through the proteasomal degradation pathway
Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) receptor is a member of the receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and has been reported to perform diverse functions in various cell types during both the developmental and adult stages. Among different roles, HGF is best known for its angiogenic effects of inducing the migration of endothelial cells. Because angiogenesis is one of the prerequisite steps for tumor metastasis, HGF-dependent cell migration has to be tightly controlled. However, the underlying mechanisms regulating the optimum level of HGF/c-met signaling have been poorly understood. In this study, we tested whether the migration of endothelial cells is regulated by a negative feedback mechanism under disproportionately large amounts of HGF. Data from endothelial cell migration assays showed that HGF activity increased as its concentration increased, but declined beyond a certain point. Under limiting conditions, amounts of phosphorylated Erk and Akt surged, reaching a plateau in which the enhanced level was more or less maintained. The c-met receptor was degraded when unnecessarily large amounts of HGF were present. Under these conditions, HGF could no longer activate downstream signaling pathways even if cells were re-treated with optimal amounts of HGF. Excessive doses of HGF increased the phosphorylation of tyrosine residue 1003 involved in the ubiquitination of c-met, and phosphorylated c-met was diverted toward the proteasomal degradation pathway. Taken together, HGF/c-met signaling is tightly regulated by a negative feedback loop through an ubiquitin-proteasomal degradation pathway. (C) 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.