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mouse imageImage of LabModel imageImage of StructureImage of Model 2Automated Colony and Cell Member Identification after HGF/SF treatment of MDCK Cells


The growth of tumours at distant sites (metastasis) is the process responsible for over 90% of cancer deaths and there is considerable need for a better understanding of this process and for new therapies for metastatic cancer.

This project focuses on two proteins (HGF/SF and MET) (see Glossary below) that can cause cancer cells to move to a distance from their primary site and thus play an important role in the early stages of metastasis. The project aims to:


HGF/SF - a protein that causes proliferation of liver cells (Hepatocyte Growth factor) and dispersal/migration of epithelial cells (Scatter Factor)

MET - the product of the c-Met protooncogene and the receptor for HGF/SF


Main results achieved in the first 18 months of the project

The SFMET project has yielded a string of important results during its first 18 months, including:

Engineered tumour cell lines in which oxygen uptake and utilisation can be controlled (Participant 1)

Compound transgenic mice enabling genetic dissection of the MET and WNT pathways in breast cancer (Participant 2)

Crystals of the ternary complex of HGF/SF-heparin-MET (Participant 3)

Crystals of NK1 variants with antagonistic activity (Participant 4)

Small molecule HGF/SF and MET binders and a full NMR assignment of NK1 for analysis of low molecular weight antagonists with their target proteins (Participant 5)

Potent and specific inhibitors of SHP-2(Participant 6).

Further Details