Mechanistically detailed systems biology modeling of the HGF/Met pathway in hepatocellular carcinoma

Mohammad Jafarnejad, Richard J. Sové, Ludmila Danilova, Adam C. Mirando, Yu Zhang, Mark Yarchoan, Phuoc T. Tran, Niranjan B. Pandey, Elana J. Fertig, Aleksander S. Popel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) signaling through its receptor Met has been implicated in hepatocellular carcinoma tumorigenesis and progression. Met interaction with integrins is shown to modulate the downstream signaling to Akt and ERK (extracellular-regulated kinase). In this study, we developed a mechanistically detailed systems biology model of HGF/Met signaling pathway that incorporated specific interactions with integrins to investigate the efficacy of integrin-binding peptide, AXT050, as monotherapy and in combination with other therapeutics targeting this pathway. Here we report that the modeled dynamics of the response to AXT050 revealed that receptor trafficking is sufficient to explain the effect of Met–integrin interactions on HGF signaling. Furthermore, the model predicted patient-specific synergy and antagonism of efficacy and potency for combination of AXT050 with sorafenib, cabozantinib, and rilotumumab. Overall, the model provides a valuable framework for studying the efficacy of drugs targeting receptor tyrosine kinase interaction with integrins, and identification of synergistic drug combinations for the patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number29
Journalnpj Systems Biology and Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Drug Discovery
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


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