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Cell Growth Differ. 1992 Jan;3(1):11-20.

Scatter factor and hepatocyte growth factor: activities, properties, and mechanism.

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  • 1Division of Radiation Oncology, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, New York 11042.


Scatter factor (SF) was first identified as a fibroblast-derived protein which disperses (i.e., "scatters") cohesive colonies of epithelium. SF-like proteins were found in human smooth muscle cell conditioned medium, amniotic fluid, and placental tissue. SFs markedly stimulate migration of epithelial, carcinoma, and vascular endothelial cell types at picomolar concentrations. Hepatocyte growth factors (HGFs) were originally described as platelet- and serum-derived proteins which stimulate hepatocyte DNA synthesis. Partial amino acid sequence data for mouse and human SFs indicate significant homology with HGFs. We used biological, biochemical, and immunological assays to evaluate and compare the activities, properties, and mechanisms of action of mouse SF, human SF (fibroblast or placenta derived), and recombinant human HGF (hrHGF). We report the following findings: (a) mouse SF exhibits species-related differences in biological activities relative to the human factors; (b) human SF and hrHGF show significant overlap in biological activities (i.e., hrHGF stimulates motility of multiple normal and carcinoma cell types, whereas human SF stimulates DNA synthesis in several normal cell types); (c) the three factors contain common antigenic determinants; and (d) all three proteins stimulate rapid phosphorylation of tyrosine residues on the c-met protooncogene protein product (the putative receptor for HGF) and on another protein with Mr 110,000. A few biological and immunological differences between human SFs and hrHGF were observed. These may reflect minor variations in amino acid sequence or posttranslational modification related to the sources of the factors. Taken as a whole, our findings suggest that by structural, functional, immunological, and mechanistic criteria, human SF and human HGF are essentially identical.

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