Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research

BATF2 Deficiency Promotes Progression in Human Colorectal Cancer via Activation of HGF/MET Signaling: A Potential Rationale for Combining MET Inhibitors with IFNs.

PMID 25762344


BATF2, a novel IFN-stimulated gene, inhibits tumor cell proliferation, invasion, and migration. The objectives of this study were to determine how BATF2 expression is associated with colorectal cancer progression and patient outcome, to investigate how BATF2 overexpression inhibits hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/MET signaling, and to elucidate the rationale for combining MET inhibitors with IFN. BATF2 expression in colorectal cancer tissues was determined and correlated with colorectal cancer patient prognosis. Cultured colorectal cancer cells were used to investigate the effects of BATF2 overexpression on the malignant phenotype of colorectal cancer cells and HGF/MET signaling. Tumor xenograft models were used to validate the effects of BATF2 on colorectal cancer xenograft growth and assess the efficacy of the combination of MET inhibitors with IFNs in colorectal cancer. In colorectal cancer tissues, BATF2 was found to be significantly downregulated, and its expression negatively correlated with MET expression. Decreased BATF2 expression was associated with progression and shorter patient survival in colorectal cancer. BATF2 overexpression promoted apoptosis and inhibited proliferation, migration, and invasion in colorectal cancer cells, as well as dramatically blunted tumor xenograft growth. In addition, MET inhibitors in combination with IFNβ produced synergistic cytotoxicity both in vitro and in vivo. Together, these novel findings suggest that BATF2, a tumor suppressor gene, is a potent negative regulator of HGF/MET signaling in colorectal cancer and may serve as a prognostic tumor marker. Furthermore, these results provide a rationale for combining MET inhibitors with IFNs in preclinical trials.