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Oncogene. 1993 Nov;8(11):3047-53.

Hepatocyte growth factor transforms immortalized mouse liver epithelial cells.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Cancer Institute, Tokyo, Japan.


Transforming activity of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) was demonstrated utilizing immortalized but not fully transformed mouse hepatocytes (MLE-10). Rat HGF cDNA, expressed under the control of a cytomegalovirus promoter, was transfected together with the neomycin resistance gene (PSV2neo) into MLE-10 cells by the calcium phosphate method, and propagated G418-resistant colonies were harvested colony by colony. After checking for integration and expression of exogenous HGF, five cell lines (MLE-10-HGF-1-5) were established. Three cell lines transfected with the vector only (MLE-10-CMV-1-3) were also established in the same manner. All MLE-10-HGF cell lines grew much faster than the MLE-10-CMV and original MLE-10 cells in culture and produced large colonies in soft agar, which colony production was blocked by the addition of anti-HGF antibody to the agar. After addition of HGF, original and MLE-10-CMV lines produced colonies in soft agar. The high-HGF-production lines (MLE-10-HGF-4 and -5) also gave rise to tumors within 2 weeks when implanted into the nude mice subcutis. In contrast, all MLE-10-CMV and original MLE-10 cells were negative in these growth assays. A rough parallelism between the level of HGF expression and the growth rate in both soft agar and nude mice subcutis was evident among MLE-10-HGF cell lines. Those with higher HGF production tended to grow in a scattered fashion in culture. High-affinity HGF receptor, HGFR/met, was expressed in MLE-10 and all the derived cell lines. Since HGF and/or HGFR/met gene expression is seen in various tumors and the serum HGF level is elevated in patients with hepatic disease, the present results indicate a possible significance of HGF and its receptor system in carcinogenesis, most probably via autocrine and/or paracrine mechanisms.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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