Mammary tumor cells with high metastatic potential are hypersensitive to macrophage-derived HGF

Takanori Kitamura, Yu Kato, Demi Brownlie, Daniel Soong, Gaël Sugano, Nicolle Kippen, Jiufeng Li, Dahlia Doughty-Shenton, Neil Carragher, Jeffrey W. Pollard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Metastasis-associated macrophages (MAM) promote persistent growth of breast cancer cells at the metastatic site and are, thus, an attractive therapeutic target to treat breast cancer metastasis, a leading cause of cancer-related death in women. However, the precise mechanisms behind MAM-mediated metastatic tumor outgrowth have not been fully elucidated. Using mouse models of metastatic breast cancer, we showed that MAMs uniquely expressed hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) in metastatic tumors. We also demonstrated that a selected population of cancer cells with high metastatic potential (cancer cells that can establish metastatic tumors in mice with higher number and incidence than parental cells) had higher expression of HGF receptor, MNNG HOS transforming gene (MET), and were more responsive to HGF released from macrophages compared with the parental cells. Blockade of MET signaling in cancer cells suppressed metastatic tumor expansion, in part, through activation of natural killer cells. Results from this study suggest an approach to prevent life-threatening metastatic tumor formation using blockade of MAM-induced MET signal activation in metastatic cancer cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2052-2064
Number of pages13
JournalCancer Immunology Research
Issue number12
Early online date15 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


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