Spatiotemporal regulation of the hepatocyte growth factor receptor MET activity by sorting nexins 1/2 in HCT116 colorectal cancer cells

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Cumulative research findings support the idea that endocytic trafficking is crucial in regulating receptor signaling and associated diseases. Specifically, strong evidence points to the involvement of sorting nexins (SNXs), particularly SNX1 and SNX2, in the signaling and trafficking of the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) MET in colorectal cancer (CRC). Activation of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) receptor MET is a key driver of CRC progression. In this study, we utilized human HCT116 CRC cells with SNX1 and SNX2 genes knocked out to demonstrate that their absence leads to a delay in MET entering early endosomes. This delay results in increased phosphorylation of both MET and AKT upon HGF stimulation, while ERK1/2 (extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2) phosphorylation remains unaffected. Despite these changes, HGF-induced cell proliferation, scattering, and migration remain similar between the parental and the SNX1/2 knockout cells. However, in the absence of SNX1 and SNX2, these cells exhibit increased resistance to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. This research underscores the intricate relationship between intracellular trafficking, receptor signaling, and cellular responses and demonstrates for the first time that the modulation of MET trafficking by SNX1 and SNX2 is critical for receptor signaling that may exacerbate the disease.

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