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Expression of hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor and its receptor c-Met in brain tumors: evidence for a role in progression of astrocytic tumors (Review).

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Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a multifunctional cytokine which is believed to have important roles in tissue development and regeneration, and tumor progression. It is indistinguishable from scatter factor (SF), a motility factor. HGF/SF is believed to be a mesenchymal cell-derived cytokine acting for epithelial cells bearing its receptor tyrosine kinase, c-Met. Recently, we found that glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a highly malignant brain tumor of astrocytic origin, concomitantly express HGF/SF and c-Met. This finding indicates a presence of autocrine loop of HGF/SF signaling pathway in GBM. Moreover, GBM cells also co-express HGF activator, a recently identified serine proteinase having efficient HGF/SF activating activity. The expression of HGF/SF and c-Met was low or hardly detectable in low-grade astrocytoma, and c-Met immunoreactivity was correlated with the histological grade of the tumor suggesting that the creation of HGF/SF autocrine loop occurs along with the progression of astrocytic brain tumors. Experimental evidence indicated that HGF/SF exhibits potent migration/invasion-inducing activity for GBM cells bearing c-Met receptor. It is also a significant angiogenesis factor in GBM, and may serve as a cellular growth factor for certain GBM cells. These lines of evidence suggest that HGF/SF signaling pathway may serve as a promising new target of therapeutic intervention of GBM.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Neurosurgery, Miyazaki Medical College, Kiyotake, Miyazaki 889-1692, Japan.

Publication date: May 1, 1999

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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