Correlation of MET and PD-L1 expression in malignant melanoma

Kyu Young Song, Sabina Desar, Thomas Pengo, Ryan Shanley, Alessio Giubellino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The proto-oncogene MET, the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) receptor, is a transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) with a prominent role in tumor metastasis and resistance to anti-cancer therapies. Melanoma demonstrates relatively frequent MET aberrations, including MET gene amplification. Concurrently, programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1), with its ability to evade anti-tumor immune responses, has emerged as a prominent therapeutic target in melanoma and other malignancies and its expression is used as a predictive biomarker of response to immunotherapy. We performed immunohistochemistry analysis of MET and PD-L1 in 18 human melanoma cell lines derived from both primary and metastatic lesions, and in a human melanoma tissue microarray containing one hundreds melanocytic lesions, including primary cutaneous melanomas, primary mucosal melanomas, metastatic melanomas and benign melanocytic nevi as controls. After color deconvolution, each core was segmented to isolate staining and calculate the percentage of positive cells. Overall, MET expression was higher in tumors with increased PD-L1 expression. Moreover, a robust correlation between MET and PD-L1 expression was found in samples from metastatic melanoma and not in primary cutaneous or mucosal melanoma. These data suggest that relative expression levels of these proteins in combination is a marker of advanced disease and testing for expression of these markers should be considered in patients with melanoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1847
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2020


  • MET
  • Melanoma
  • Metastasis
  • PD-L1

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