Hepatocyte growth factor promotes cell survival from fas-mediated cell death in hepatocellular carcinoma cells via Akt activation and Fas-death-inducing signaling complex suppression

Hepatology. 2000 Oct;32(4 Pt 1):796-802. doi: 10.1053/jhep.2000.17738.


The Akt/PI-3 kinase pathway is a system essential for cell survival. In the current study, we showed that hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) activates the Akt/PI-3 kinase pathway to suppress Fas-mediated cell death in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC; 3 lines; SK-Hep1, HLE, and Chang Liver cell lines), hepatoblastoma (1 line; HepG2), and embryonic hepatocyte (1 line; WRL). Five tested cell lines showed the resistance to Fas-mediated cell death by the pretreatment of HGF. This HGF-induced cell survival was suppressed by wortmannin (Akt/PI-3 kinase pathway inhibitor), suggesting an involvement of Akt. When cells were pretreated with HGF, Fas-mediated cell death was suppressed, followed by Akt phosphorylation at Ser473. Fas-death-inducing signaling complex (DISC) formation, especially FADD and caspase 8 interaction, was suppressed by HGF and the suppression of the Akt/PI-3 kinase pathway by transient expression of PTEN, resulting in acquisition of Fas-DISC formation and Fas-mediated cell death in HGF-treated cells. We suggest that HGF promotes cell survival in hepatocyte-derived cell lines (HCC, hepatoblastoma, and embryonic hepatocyte) from Fas-mediated cell death via Fas-DISC suppression as a result of Akt activation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology*
  • Cell Death / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology*
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / physiology
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / physiology
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins*
  • fas Receptor / physiology*


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • fas Receptor
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor
  • AKT1 protein, human
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase
  • PTEN protein, human