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The MET oncogene

MET, also called tyrosine-protein kinase or hepatocyte growth factor receptor (HGFR), is a protein that in humans is encoded by the MET gene.

Normally, only stem and progenitor cells express MET, which allows these cells to grow and to migrate in the body, in order to generate new tissues in the embryo or to regenerate damaged tissues in the adult.

Cancer stem cells have been found to hijack the ability of normal stem cells to express MET; the gene becomes the cause of cancer onset, invasion and metastasis.

Aberrant activation of MET triggers tumor growth, formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) that supply the tumor with nutrients, and cancer spread to various organs (metastasis). Abnormal MET activation correlates with poor prognosis in cancer patients.

The involvement of the MET gene has been widely observed in various malignancies, including stomach, lung, kidney, liver, breast and brain carcinomas.

A broad spectrum of academic research demonstrated that anti-MET drugs, in the right context, are highly effective in inhibiting not only cancer cell proliferation but also invasion and metastatic spread.

MET's discovery path

Paolo Comoglio's Research Group contributions to the MET field

Discovery of p145, a tyrosine kinase expressed in gastric cancer (Mol Cell Biol. Vol.8) 

P145 is a tyrosine kinase receptor indistinguishable from the MET protein

HGF is the ligand activating the MET receptor

MET controls the invasive growth response

Discovery of the inducible MET receptor promote

Generation of the first monoclonal antibody against MET

Novel somatic mutations of MET in human carcinoma metastases

MET drives a genetic program linking cancer to haemostasis

Identification of an HGF binding site in the MET receptor

MET induced resistance to radiotherapy

MET is a functional marker of glioblastoma stem cells

MET blunts the therapeutic response to EGFR inhibitors in colon cancer

MET inhibition overcomes radiation resistance of glioblastomas

Dual MET/EGFR therapy leads to complete response in gastro-esophageal cancer

Dual MET/EGFR therapy leads to complete response in gastro-esophageal cancer

MET research trend


MET publications

In the last decade, the MET number of publications has been steadily increasing to over 6,500, reflecting the growing interest in MET research as a potential therapeutic target and biomarker in cancer (updated Dec 2018)

MET publications by Paolo Comoglio's research group

The lab headed by Prof. Comoglio, where the novel anti-MET antibodies were discovered and developed, is at the forefront of MET research, with over 350 publications and nearly 43,000 citations throughout the years (updated Dec 2018).


years of research about MET


MET number of publications


MET' publications by Comoglio's research group



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