[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The c-MET receptor has a function in many human cancers and is a proven therapeutic target. Generating antagonistic or therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) targeting c-MET has been difficult because bivalent, intact anti-Met antibodies frequently display agonistic activity, necessitating the use of monovalent antibody fragments for therapy. By using a novel strategy that included immunizing with cells expressing c-MET, we obtained a range of mAbs. These c-MET mAbs were tested for binding specificity and anti-tumor activity using a range of cell-based techniques and in silico modeling. The LMH 80 antibody bound an epitope, contained in the small cysteine-rich domain of c-MET (amino acids 519-561), that was preferentially exposed on the c-MET precursor. Since the c-MET precursor is only expressed on the surface of cancer cells and not normal cells, this antibody is potentially tumor specific. An interesting subset of our antibodies displayed profound activities on c-MET internalization and degradation. LMH 87, an antibody binding the loop connecting strands 3d and 4a of the 7-bladed β-propeller domain of c-MET, displayed no intrinsic agonistic activity but promoted receptor internalization and degradation. LMH 87 inhibited HGF/SF-induced migration of SK-OV-3 ovarian carcinoma cells, the proliferation of A549 lung cancer cells and the growth of human U87MG glioma cells in a mouse xenograft model. These results indicate that c-MET antibodies targeting epitopes controlling receptor internalization and degradation provide new ways of controlling c-MET expression and activity and may enable the therapeutic targeting of c-MET by intact, bivalent antibodies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little is known about the large ectodomain of MET, the product of the c-met protooncogene and receptor for hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF). Here, we establish by deletion mutagenesis that the HGF/SF and heparin-binding sites of MET are contained within a large N-terminal domain spanning the alpha-chain (amino acids 25-307) and the first 212 amino acids of the beta-chain (amino acids 308-519). Neither the cystine-rich domain (amino acids 520-561) nor the C-terminal half of MET (amino acids 562-932) bind HGF/SF or heparin directly. The MET ectodomain, which behaves as a rod-shaped monomer with a large Stokes radius in solution, binds HGF/SF in the absence or presence of heparin, and forms a stable HGF/SF-heparin-MET complex with 1:1:1 stoichiometry. We also show that the ligand-binding domain adopts a beta-propeller fold, which is similar to the N-terminal domain of alphaV integrin, and that the C-terminal half contains four Ig domains (amino acids 563-654, 657-738, 742-836, and 839-924) of the unusual structural E set, which could be modeled on bacterial enzymes. Our studies provide 3D models and a functional map of the MET ectodomain. They have broad implications for structure-function of the MET receptor and the related semaphorin and plexin proteins.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2003 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences