Hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor stimulates migration of rat mammary fibroblasts through both mitogen-activated protein kinase and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathways

Eur J Biochem. 2001 Aug;268(16):4423-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1432-1327.2001.02363.x.


Hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF) is considered to be a mesenchymal-derived factor that acts via a dual system receptor, consisting of the MET receptor and proteoglycans present on adjacent epithelial cells. Surprisingly, HGS/SF stimulated the migration of rat mammary (Rama) 27 fibroblasts, although it failed to stimulate their proliferation. HGF/SF stimulated a transient activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases p44 and p42 (p42/44(MAPK)), with a maximum level of dual phosphorylation of p42/44(MAPK) occurring 10-15 min after the addition of the growth factor, which was followed by a rapid decrease to near basal levels after 20 min. Interestingly, a second phase of p42/44(MAPK) dual phosphorylation was observed at later times (3 h to 10 h). PD098059, a specific inhibitor of MEK-1, prevented the dual phosphorylation of p42/44(MAPK) and also the phosphorylation of p90(RSK) (ribosomal subunit S6 kinase), which mirrored the kinetics of p42/44(MAPK) phosphorylation. Moreover, PD098059 prevented the HGF/SF-induced migration of Rama 27 cells. HGF/SF also induced an early increase in the phosphorylation of protein kinase B/Akt. Akt phosphorylation was elevated 15 min after the addition of HGF/SF and then declined to basal levels by 30 min. Wortmannin, an inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PtdIns3K), prevented the increase in Akt phosphorylation and abolished HGF/SF-induced migration of fibroblasts. PD098059 also inhibited the stimulation of Akt phosphorylation by HGF/SF and wortmannin similarly inhibited the stimulation of p42/44(MAPK) dual phosphorylation. These results suggest that HGF/SF-induced motility depends on both the transient dual phosphorylation of p42/44(MAPK) and the activation of PtdIns3K in Rama 27 fibroblasts and that these pathways are mutually dependent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Androstadienes / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / physiology
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / physiology*
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / physiology*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Rats
  • Wortmannin


  • Androstadienes
  • Flavonoids
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • AKT1 protein, human
  • Akt1 protein, rat
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • 2-(2-amino-3-methoxyphenyl)-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one
  • Wortmannin