Coexpression of activated c-met and death receptor 5 predicts better survival in colorectal carcinoma

Document Type



Centre for Regenerative Medicine


Dysregulated overexpression of hepatocyte growth factor and its receptor, c-Met, has been reported in various cancers, but its role in colorectal carcinoma (CRC) has not been elucidated. Therefore, we investigated the role of phosphorylated Met (p-Met) in Middle Eastern CRC patient samples and cell lines. The p-Met was overexpressed in 80.8% of CRCs and strongly associated with the expression of p-AKT, DR5, and Ki-67 by immunohistochemistry. Coexpression of p-Met and DR5 was seen in 53.1% of CRC cases and was associated with a less aggressive phenotype, characterized by a histological subtype of adenocarcinomas, well-differentiated tumors, and was an independent prognostic marker for better overall survival. PHA665752, a selective p-Met inhibitor, induced apoptosis in CRC cells via inactivation of c-Met and AKT. PHA665752 treatment also caused increased expression of DR5 via generation of reactive oxygen species, and combination treatment with tumor necrosis factor–related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and PHA665752 induced significant apoptosis. In vivo, cotreatment of a CRC xenograft with PHA665752 and TRAIL significantly reduced tumor volume and weight. These data demonstrate a significant correlation between p-Met and DR5 in patients with CRC. Furthermore, inhibition of p-Met signaling by PHA665752 in combination with TRAIL significantly inhibited cell growth and induced apoptosis in CRC cell lines, suggesting that this may have significant clinical implications as a therapeutic target in the treatment of CRC.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

The American Journal of Pathology