• c-Met is essential for wound healing in the skin.

      Chmielowiec, Jolanta; Borowiak, Malgorzata; Morkel, Markus; Stradal, Theresia; Munz, Barbara; Werner, Sabine; Wehland, Jürgen; Birchmeier, Carmen; Birchmeier, Walter; Department of Cancer Biology, Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine, 13125 Berlin, Germany. (2007-04-09)
      Wound healing of the skin is a crucial regenerative process in adult mammals. We examined wound healing in conditional mutant mice, in which the c-Met gene that encodes the receptor of hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor was mutated in the epidermis by cre recombinase. c-Met-deficient keratinocytes were unable to contribute to the reepithelialization of skin wounds. In conditional c-Met mutant mice, wound closure was slightly attenuated, but occurred exclusively by a few (5%) keratinocytes that had escaped recombination. This demonstrates that the wound process selected and amplified residual cells that express a functional c-Met receptor. We also cultured primary keratinocytes from the skin of conditional c-Met mutant mice and examined them in scratch wound assays. Again, closure of scratch wounds occurred by the few remaining c-Met-positive cells. Our data show that c-Met signaling not only controls cell growth and migration during embryogenesis but is also essential for the generation of the hyperproliferative epithelium in skin wounds, and thus for a fundamental regenerative process in the adult.