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Clin Exp Metastasis. 1999;17(6):507-14.

Hepatocyte growth factor promotes migration of human hepatocellular carcinoma via phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase.

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First Department of Surgery, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Japan.


Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is known to be a potent mitogen and motogen for epithelial cells. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) often metastasizes, and the c-Met/HGF receptor is highly expressed by HCC cells. The aim of this study was to investigate the signaling pathways associated with the motogenic effect of HGF on HCC cells via c-Met. HCC cell lines (Hep3B, HepG2, PLC, and Huh-7) and HCC cells harvested from patients were used for the Boyden chamber assay of chemotactic activity as well as for immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting studies. HGF stimulated the motility of Hep3B, HepG2, and Huh-7 cells in a dose-dependent manner in association with tyrosine phosphorylation of c-Met and activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K). A tyrosine kinase inhibitor (genistein) and a PI3-K inhibitor (wortmannin) prevented the migration of HCC cells. However, migration was not prevented by calphostin C, an inhibitor of protein kinase C (PKC), which is a downstream target of phospholipase Cgamma (PLCgamma). HGF also stimulated the migration of HCC cells obtained from three patients, while wortmannin prevented the migration of these cells. These results indicate that HGF stimulates the migration of HCC cells through the tyrosine phosphorylation of c-Met via activation of PI3-K.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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