Non-Agonistic Bivalent Antibodies That Promote c-MET Degradation and Inhibit Tumor Growth and Others Specific for Tumor Related c-MET

Sameer A. Greenall, Ermanno Gherardi, Zhanqi Liu, Jacqueline F. Donoghue, Angela A. Vitali, Qian Li, Roger Murphy, Luisa Iamele, Andrew M. Scott, Terrance G. Johns

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26 Citations (Scopus)


The c-MET receptor has a function in many human cancers and is a proven therapeutic target. Generating antagonistic or therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) targeting c-MET has been difficult because bivalent, intact anti-Met antibodies frequently display agonistic activity, necessitating the use of monovalent antibody fragments for therapy. By using a novel strategy that included immunizing with cells expressing c-MET, we obtained a range of mAbs. These c-MET mAbs were tested for binding specificity and anti-tumor activity using a range of cell-based techniques and in silico modeling. The LMH 80 antibody bound an epitope, contained in the small cysteine-rich domain of c-MET (amino acids 519-561), that was preferentially exposed on the c-MET precursor. Since the c-MET precursor is only expressed on the surface of cancer cells and not normal cells, this antibody is potentially tumor specific. An interesting subset of our antibodies displayed profound activities on c-MET internalization and degradation. LMH 87, an antibody binding the loop connecting strands 3d and 4a of the 7-bladed beta-propeller domain of c-MET, displayed no intrinsic agonistic activity but promoted receptor internalization and degradation. LMH 87 inhibited HGF/SF-induced migration of SK-OV-3 ovarian carcinoma cells, the proliferation of A549 lung cancer cells and the growth of human U87MG glioma cells in a mouse xenograft model. These results indicate that c-MET antibodies targeting epitopes controlling receptor internalization and degradation provide new ways of controlling c-MET expression and activity and may enable the therapeutic targeting of c-MET by intact, bivalent antibodies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere34658
Number of pages10
JournalPLoS One
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


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