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Ke-Ping Xu, Fu-Shin X. Yu; Cross Talk between c-Met and Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor during Retinal Pigment Epithelial Wound Healing. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(5):2242-2248. doi: 10.1167/iovs.06-0560.
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purpose. The authors sought to determine how hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) receptor c-Met and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) cross talk in response to injury in human ARPE-19 cells.
methods. A scratch wound was made on a cell monolayer of ARPE-19 cells using a sequence-comb or a pipet tip, and it was allowed to heal in the presence or absence of HGF and heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor (HB-EGF). The activation of EGFR was analyzed by immunoprecipitation with EGFR antibody, followed by Western blotting with phosphotyrosine-specific antibody. Phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and AKT (a major substrate of phosphatidylinositol 3′-kinase (PI3K) was assessed by Western blotting. The release of c-Met ectodomain into the culture media was determined by Western blotting using an antibody against the extracellular region. Cell migration was assessed by Boyden chamber migration assay.
results. ARPE-19 cells underwent spontaneous wound healing in basal medium, and exogenously added HB-EGF and HGF significantly enhanced wound closure. Basal and growth factor-enhanced wound closures were attenuated but not slowed by hydroxyurea, a cell proliferation inhibitor. RPE cells expressed all four erbBs, and wounding induced EGFR transactivation and downstream ERK and PI3K phosphorylation in ARPE-19 cells. HGF also induced EGFR tyrosine phosphorylation. The EGFR kinase inhibitor AG1478 blocked wound- and HGF-stimulated EGFR transactivation and attenuated spontaneous and growth factor-induced wound closure. Wounding and EGFR ligands induced the release of c-Met into the culture media. Moreover, pretreatment of cells with HB-EGF impaired ARPE-19 migration toward HGF in a matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor-sensitive manner.
conclusions. EGFR modulates HGF/c-Met activity by inducing c-Met ectodomain shedding, and HGF/c-Met transactivates EGFR, leading to an enhanced activation of downstream signaling pathways. Cross talk between EGFR and c-Met may play a key role in regulating RPE cell migration, proliferation, and wound healing.
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