The Journal of biological chemistry

Anti-apoptotic role of caspase-cleaved GAB1 adaptor protein in hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor-MET receptor protein signaling.

PMID 22915589


The GRB2-associated binder 1 (GAB1) docking/scaffold protein is a key mediator of the MET-tyrosine kinase receptor activated by hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF). Activated MET promotes recruitment and tyrosine phosphorylation of GAB1, which in turn recruits multiple proteins and mediates MET signaling leading to cell survival, motility, and morphogenesis. We previously reported that, without its ligand, MET is a functional caspase target during apoptosis, allowing the generation of a p40-MET fragment that amplifies apoptosis. In this study we established that GAB1 is also a functional caspase target by evidencing a caspase-cleaved p35-GAB1 fragment that contains the MET binding domain. GAB1 is cleaved by caspases before MET, and the resulting p35-GAB1 fragment is phosphorylated by MET upon HGF/SF binding and can interact with a subset of GAB1 partners, PI3K, and GRB2 but not with SHP2. This p35-GAB1 fragment favors cell survival by maintaining HGF/SF-induced MET activation of AKT and by hindering p40-MET pro-apoptotic function. These data demonstrate an anti-apoptotic role of caspase-cleaved GAB1 in HGF/SF-MET signaling.