The receptor for hepatocyte growth factor, also known as scatter factor (HGF/SF), has recently been identified as the 190-kDa heterodimeric tyrosine kinase encoded by the MET proto-oncogene (p190MET). The signaling pathway(s) triggered by HGF/SF are unknown. In A549 cells, a lung epithelial cell line, nanomolar concentrations of HGF/SF induced tyrosine phosphorylation of the p190MET receptor. The autophosphorylated receptor coprecipitated with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) activity. In GTL16 cells, a cell line derived from a gastric carcinoma, the p190MET receptor, overexpressed and constitutively phosphorylated on tyrosine, coprecipitated with PI 3-kinase activity and with the 85-kDa PI 3-kinase subunit. In these cells activation of protein kinase C or the increase of intracellular [Ca2+] inhibits tyrosine phosphorylation of the p190MET receptor as well as the association with both PI 3-kinase activity and the 85-kDa subunit of the enzyme. In an in vitro assay, tyrosine phosphorylation of the immobilized p190MET receptor was required for binding of PI 3-kinase from cell lysates. These data strongly suggest that the signaling pathway activated by the HGF/SF receptor includes generation of D-3-phosphorylated inositol phospholipids.