Research Papers:

c-Met inhibitors attenuate tumor growth of small cell hypercalcemic ovarian carcinoma (SCCOHT) populations

Anna Otte, Finn Rauprich, Juliane von der Ohe, Yuanyuan Yang, Friedrich Kommoss, Friedrich Feuerhake, Peter Hillemanns and Ralf Hass _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:31640-31658. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5151

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Anna Otte1, Finn Rauprich1, Juliane von der Ohe1, Yuanyuan Yang1, Friedrich Kommoss2, Friedrich Feuerhake3, Peter Hillemanns1, Ralf Hass1

1Biochemistry and Tumor Biology Laboratory, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany

2Synlab MVZ Pathologie Mannheim GmbH, Referral Center for Gynecopathology, Mannheim, Germany

3Institute for Pathology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany

Correspondence to:

Ralf Hass, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: SCCOHT, small cell ovarian cancer, c-Met inhibitor, foretinib, tumor growth

Received: February 16, 2015     Accepted: August 12, 2015     Published: September 30, 2015


A cellular model (SCCOHT-1) of the aggressive small cell hypercalcemic ovarian carcinoma demonstrated constitutive chemokine and growth factor production including HGF. A simultaneous presence of c-Met in 41% SCCOHT-1 cells suggested an autocrine growth mechanism. Expression of c-Met was also observed at low levels in the corresponding BIN-67 cell line (6.5%) and at high levels in ovarian adenocarcinoma cells (NIH:OVCAR-3 (84.4%) and SK-OV-3 (99.3%)). Immunohistochemistry of c-Met expression in SCCOHT tumors revealed a heterogeneous distribution between undetectable levels and 80%. Further characterization of SCCOHT-1 and BIN-67 cells by cell surface markers including CD90 and EpCAM demonstrated similar patterns with differences to the ovarian adenocarcinoma cells. HGF stimulation of SCCOHT-1 cells was associated with c-Met phosphorylation at Tyr1349 and downstream Thr202/Tyr204 phosphorylation of p44/42 MAP kinase. This HGF-induced signaling cascade was abolished by the c-Met inhibitor foretinib. Cell cycle analysis after foretinib treatment demonstrated enhanced G2 accumulation and increasing apoptosis within 72 h. Moreover, the IC50 of foretinib revealed 12.4 nM in SCCOHT-1 cells compared to 411 nM and 481 nM in NIH:OVCAR-3 and SK-OV-3 cells, respectively, suggesting potential therapeutic effects. Indeed, SCCOHT-1 and BIN-67 tumor xenografts in NODscid mice exhibited an approximately 10-fold and 5-fold reduced tumor size following systemic application of foretinib, respectively. Furthermore, foretinib-treated tumors revealed a significantly reduced vascularization and little if any c-Met-mediated signal transduction. Similar findings of reduced proliferative capacity and declined tumor size were observed after siRNA-mediated c-Met knock-down in SCCOHT-1 cells demonstrating that in vivo inhibition of these pathways contributed to an attenuation of SCCOHT tumor growth.

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