Development of novel targeted therapies directed against hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) or its receptor (MET) necessitates the availability of quality diagnostics to facilitate their safe and effective use. Limitations of some commercially available anti-MET antibodies have prompted development of the highly sensitive and specific clone A2H2-3. Here we report its analytical properties when applied by an automated immunohistochemistry method. Excellent antibody specificity was demonstrated by immunoblot, ELISA, and IHC evaluation of characterised cell lines including NIH3T3 overexpressing the related kinase MST1R (RON). Sensitivity was confirmed by measurements of MET in cell lines or characterised tissues. IHC correlated well with FISH and quantitative RT-PCR assessments of MET (P < 0.001). Good total agreement (89%) was observed with the anti-MET antibody clone SP44 using whole-tissue sections, but poor positive agreement (21-47%) was seen in tissue microarray cores. Multiple lots displayed appropriate reproducibility (R(2) > 0.9). Prevalence of MET positivity by IHC was higher in non-squamous cell NSCLC, MET or EGFR amplified cases, and in tumours harbouring abnormalities in EGFR exon 19 or 21. The anti-MET antibody clone A2H2-3 displays excellent specificity and sensitivity. These properties make it suitable for clinical trial investigations and development as a potential companion diagnostic.
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