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Gene. 1991 Jun 30;102(2):213-9.

Organization of the human hepatocyte growth factor-encoding gene.

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Pharmaceuticals Research Center, Toyobo Co. Ltd., Otsu, Japan.


Human genomic phage libraries were screened for the human hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-encoding gene (HGF) using a cDNA encoding the human protein as a probe. Characterization of the clones revealed that this gene is composed of 18 exons interrupted by 17 introns spanning approx. 70 kb. The first exon contains the 5'-untranslated region and the signal peptide. The next ten exons encode the alpha-chain which contains four kringle structures. Each kringle domain is encoded by two exons as observed in other kringle-containing proteins. The twelfth exon contains the short spacer region between the alpha- and beta-chains and the remaining six exons comprise the beta-chain. The beta-chain is structurally similar to the catalytic domains of serine proteases; amino acid substitutions in the active site were found. The organization of the HGF gene is highly homologous to those of the serine proteases involved in blood coagulation and fibrinolysis, especially with that of plasminogen. This suggests that the human HGF gene is evolutionally related to these genes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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