Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Hepatology. 1995 Dec;22(6):1728-34.

Evidence for the presence of an inactive precursor of human hepatocyte growth factor in plasma and sera of patients with liver diseases.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Kagoshima University Dental School, Japan.


Human hepatocyte growth factor (hHGF), which is now known to be the same protein as the scatter factor and the tumor cytotoxic factor, is a heterodimeric protein with one heavy chain and one light chain linked together by a disulfide bond, and is thought to be involved in liver regeneration. Using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Western blot analysis, we found that a significant amount of single chain precursor of hHGF (pro-hHGF) was present in plasma of patients with fulminant hepatic failure (FHF) and that normal human serum contained a protease or proteases that convert pro-HGF to a heterodimeric (mature) form of hHGF. We also showed that the processing protease activity for hHGF was suppressed by such serine protease inhibitors as leupeptin, antipain, and aprotinin, and that sera of patients with liver diseases such as fulminant hepatic failure, acute hepatitis, chronic hepatitis, and cirrhosis contained not only pro-hHGF but also the protease. This is the first report showing the presence of pro-hHGF in human blood, and our observations suggest that hHGF is synthesized and secreted from the hHGF-producing cells as an inactive pro-hHGF after hepatic injuries, and the pro-hHGF is then converted to an active heterodimeric form of hHGF in the blood. It is also suggested that plasma of patients with liver diseases contains an active protease or proteases that convert pro-hHGF to a mature form of hHGF.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk