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Br J Cancer. 2000 Nov;83(9):1147-53.

Hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor enhances the invasion of mesothelioma cell lines and the expression of matrix metalloproteinases.

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School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK.


Hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF) is a multifunctional factor involved both in development and tissue repair, as well as pathological processes such as cancer and metastasis. It has been identified in vivo in many types of tumours together with its tyrosine kinase receptor, Met. We show here that exogenous HGF/SF acts as a strong chemoattractant for human mesothelioma cell lines. The factor also enhanced cell adhesion to and invasion into Matrigel. The mesothelioma cell lines synthesized a panel of matrix metalloproteinases critical for tumour progression such as MMP-1, 2, 3, 9 and membrane-bound MT1-MMP. HGF/SF stimulated the expression of MMP-1, 9 and MT1-MMP and had a slight effect on expression of the MMP inhibitor TIMP-1 but not TIMP-2. However, there was no simple correlation between the levels of MMPs and TIMPs of the cell lines and their different invasion properties or between HGF/SF stimulatory effects on MMP expression and invasion. In addition, effects of protease inhibitors on invasion suggested that serine proteases were also expressed in human mesothelioma cell lines and were involved in HGF/SF-induced invasion. The results show a predominant role for HGF/SF in mesothelioma cell invasion, stimulating simultaneously adhesion, motility, invasion and regulation of MMP and TIMP levels.

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