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Exp Cell Res. 1992 Oct;202(2):423-31.

Regulation of cell growth and motility by hepatocyte growth factor and receptor expression in various cell species.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.


Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), a humoral mediator for regeneration of liver and kidney, possesses multiple biological activities. To investigate target cell specificity and to examine whether multiple actions of HGF are related to properties of the HGF receptor on target cells, we examined the effects of HGF on cell growth and motility and analyzed the HGF receptor in various species of cells. HGF stimulated growth and DNA synthesis of PAM212 (naturally immortalized mouse keratinocytes), Mv1Lu (mink lung epithelia), and A431 (human epidermoid carcinoma) cells, as well as mature hepatocytes, but inhibited those of IM-9 (human B-lymphoblasts). Conversely, HGF had a marked stimulatory effect on cell motility of MDCK (Mardin-Darby canine kidney epithelia) cells, but not on their growth. Also, HGF enhanced the motility of various species of cells, including A431, PAM212, HepG2 (human hepatoma), KB (human epidermoid carcinoma), and J-111 (human monocytes) cells. Scatchard analysis of 125I-HGF binding to hepatocytes indicated that the cells expressed both high- and low-affinity binding sites for HGF with Kd values of 23 and 260 pM, respectively. High-affinity HGF receptor with Kd values of 20-25 pM was detected at 40-720 sites/cell in MDCK, A431, PAM212, Lu99, and IM-9 cells, but not in fibroblasts and hematopoietic cells. In contrast, low-affinity binding sites were detected in all cell lines examined, even in those not responsive to HGF. Northern blots revealed that cells possessing a high-affinity HGF receptor expressed c-MET/HGF receptor mRNA. Therefore, HGF probably regulates both cell growth and motility of various types of epithelial cells and some types of mesenchymal cells. The multiple biological activities of HGF may be exerted through a high-affinity HGF receptor linked to multiple distinct intracellular signaling pathways.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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