Science Signaling Podcast for 21 June 2016: MET and skin cancer

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Science Signaling  21 Jun 2016:
Vol. 9, Issue 433, pp. pc14
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aag2899

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This Podcast features an interview with Stuart Yuspa, senior author of a Research Article that appears in the 21 June 2016 issue of Science Signaling, about how activation of the receptor tyrosine kinase MET stimulates the formation of squamous cell carcinoma in the skin. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is produced by mesenchymal cells and stimulates MET, which is present on the surface of epithelial cells. HGF-MET signaling directs the proliferation and migration of epithelial cells during the development of various organs and is important during wound healing. Aberrant MET activation has been implicated in several types of cancer, including squamous cell carcinoma. Using a model in which mice overexpressing HGF develop spontaneous squamous cell carcinomas in the skin, Cataisson et al. found that MET promoted the development of squamous tumors by stimulating the synthesis and release of ligands that activate the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). This mechanism was similar to that through which oncogenic RAS promotes skin tumors. Blocking EGFR signaling caused HGF-induced squamous tumors to regress, suggesting that EGFR inhibitors might be useful for treating squamous cell carcinomas.

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