The RON and MET oncogenes are co-expressed in human ovarian carcinomas and cooperate in activating invasiveness

Piera Maggiora, Annalisa Lorenzato, Stefano Fracchioli, Barbara Costa, Massimo Castagnaro, Riccardo Arisio, Dionyssios Katsaros, Marco Massobrio, Paolo M. Comoglio, Maria Flavia Di Renzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


RON is a member of the receptor tyrosine kinase gene family that includes the MET oncogene, whose germline mutations have been causally related to human tumorigenesis. In vitro, RON and MET receptors cross-talk, synergize in intracellular signaling, and cooperate in inducing morphogenic responses. Here we show that the RON and MET oncogenes were expressed in 55% and 56% of human ovarian carcinomas, respectively, and were significantly coexpressed in 42% (P <0.001). In ovarian carcinoma samples and cell lines we did not find mutations in RON and MET gene kinase domain, nor coexpression of RON and MET receptor ligands (MSP and HGF, respectively). We show that motility and invasiveness of ovarian cancer cells coexpressing MET and RON receptors were elicited by HGF and, to a lesser extent, by MSP. More interestingly, invasion of both reconstituted basement membrane and collagen gel was greatly enhanced by the simultaneous addition of the two ligands. These data suggest that coexpression of the MET and RON receptors confer a selective advantage to ovarian cancer cells and might promote ovarian cancer progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-389
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2003


  • Hepatocyte growth factor
  • Hepatocyte growth factor receptor
  • Human ovary
  • Macrophage stimulating protein
  • MET oncogene
  • Oncogenes
  • Ovarian neoplasm
  • Receptor tyrosine kinase
  • RON gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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