The cytokine hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor inhibits apoptosis and enhances DNA repair by a common mechanism involving signaling through phosphatidyl inositol 3' kinase

Oncogene. 2000 Apr 27;19(18):2212-23. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1203566.


Scatter factor (SF) [aka. hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)] (designated HGF/SF) is a multifunctional cytokine that stimulates tumor cell invasion and angiogenesis. We recently reported that HGF/SF protects epithelial and carcinoma cells against cytotoxicity from DNA-damaging agents and that HGF/SF-mediated cytoprotection was associated with up-regulation of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-XL in cells exposed to adriamycin. We now report that in addition to blocking apoptosis, HGF/SF markedly enhances the repair of DNA strand breaks caused by adriamycin or gamma radiation. Constitutive expression of Bcl-XL in MDA-MB-453 breast cancer cells not only simulated the HGF/SF-mediated chemoradioresistance, but also enhanced the repair of DNA strand breaks. The ability of HGF/SF to induce both chemoresistance and DNA repair was inhibited by wortmannin, suggesting that these activities of HGF/SF are due, in part, to a phosphatidylinositol-3'-kinase (PI3K) dependent signaling pathway. Consistent with this finding, HGF/SF induced the phosphorylation of c-Akt (protein kinase-B), a PI3K substrate implicated in apoptosis inhibition; and an expression vector encoding a dominant negative kinase inactive Akt partially but significantly inhibited HGF/SF-mediated cell protection and DNA repair. These findings suggest that HGF/SF activates a cell survival and DNA repair pathway that involves signaling through PI3K and c-Akt and stabilization of the expression of Bcl-XL; and they implicate Bcl-XL in the DNA repair process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antimutagenic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • BRCA1 Protein
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • DNA Repair / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Doxorubicin / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Gamma Rays
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mutagens / pharmacology
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • bcl-X Protein


  • Antimutagenic Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • BCL2L1 protein, human
  • BRCA1 Protein
  • Mutagens
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • bcl-X Protein
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor
  • Doxorubicin
  • AKT1 protein, human
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt