Scatter factor and hepatocyte growth factor are indistinguishable ligands for the MET receptor

Luigi Naldini, K. Michael Weidner, Elisa Vigna, Giovanni Gaudino, Alberto Bardelli, Carola Ponzetto, Radha P. Narsimhan, Guido Hartmann, Reza Zarnegar, George K. Michalopoulos, Walter Birchmeier, Paolo M. Comoglio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scatter Factor (SF) is a fibroblast-secreted protein which promotes motility and matrix invasion of epithelial cells. Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF) is a powerful mitogen for hepatocytes and other epithelial tissues. SF and HGF, purified according to their respective biological activities, were interchangeable and equally effective in assays for cell growth, motility and invasion. Both bound with identical affinities to the same sites in target cells. The receptor for SF and HGF was identified as the product of the MET oncogene by: (i) ligand binding and coprecipitation in immunocomplexes; (ii) chemical cross-linking to the Met β subunit; (iii) transfer of binding activity in insect cells by a baculovirus carrying the MET cDNA; (iv) ligand-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of the Met β subunit. SF and HGF cDNA clones from human fibroblasts, placenta and liver had virtually identical sequences. We conclude that the same molecule (SF/HGF) acts as a growth or motility factor through a single receptor in different target cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2867-2878
Number of pages12
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1991


  • Growth factor receptor
  • Hepatocyte growth factor
  • MET oncogene
  • Scatter factor
  • Tyrosine kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Scatter factor and hepatocyte growth factor are indistinguishable ligands for the MET receptor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this