A selective small-molecule inhibitor of c-Met suppresses keloid fibroblast growth in vitro and in a mouse model

Min Ha Choi, Jinhyun Kim, Jeong Hyun Ha, Ji Ung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Keloids, tumor-like lesions that result from excessive scar formation, have no definitive treatment modality. Activation of c-mesenchymal-epithelial transition factor (c-Met) promotes cell proliferation and survival. Selective c-Met inhibitors, such as PHA-665752, may attenuate the activity of keloid fibroblasts and reduce keloid formation. Here, we aimed to evaluate the effect of PHA-665752, a second-generation selective small-molecule inhibitor of c-Met, on human keloid fibroblasts in vitro and in a mouse model. We performed in vitro cytotoxicity assays, scratch tests, western blotting, and immunofluorescence on human keloid fibroblasts. We also injected human fibroblasts into severe combined immunodeficient mice and measured the degree of nodule formation and skin histologic characteristics. We found that keloid fibroblast migration was inhibited by PHA-665752. Inhibitor treatment was also associated with lower expression of members of the hepatocyte growth factor/c-Met pathway, and lower fibroblast activity and collagen synthesis. In the in vivo experiments, PHA-665752—treated mice had lower nodule volumes and weights, accompanied by less inflammatory cell infiltration and collagen deposition, than those in control mice. These findings showed that although an in vivo model may not accurately represent the pathophysiology of human keloid development, PHA-665752 suppressed keloid fibroblast activity by inhibiting the c-Met—related tyrosine kinase pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5468
JournalScientific Reports
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

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