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Cell Growth & Differentiation, Vol 7, Issue 11 1513-1523, Copyright © 1996 by American Association of Cancer Research


ARTICLES

Hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor overexpression induces growth, abnormal development, and tumor formation in transgenic mouse livers

H Sakata, H Takayama, R Sharp, JS Rubin, G Merlino and WJ LaRochelle
Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.

To investigate the in vivo role of hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF) in liver function, we generated transgenic mice using a mouse HGF/SF cDNA under the control of the mouse metallothionein gene promoter and 5'/3' flanking sequences. In adult HGF/SF transgenic mice, liver weight as a percentage of total body weight was at least twice that of wild-type mice. Comparison of transgenic and control liver morphology revealed dramatic heterogeneity in the size and appearance of hepatocytes as a distinctive feature of HGF/SF overexpression. Transgenic livers exhibited a significant increase in the number of small hepatocytes with a 2N DNA content, accounting for the observed increase in liver mass. The DNA labeling index of hepatocytes increased 11-fold at 4 weeks of age, when liver enlargement first became apparent, and was still elevated about 5-fold in adult HGF/SF transgenic mice. Moreover, hepatocytes isolated by perfusion of transgenic livers doubled every 2 days in culture, whereas little or no growth was observed with isolated control hepatocytes. The mechanistic basis of hepatocyte proliferation was elucidated as the chronic activation of the c-met proto-oncogene product. Met and substrates such as phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, Src homology and collagen-like, pp60c-src, focal adhesion kinase p125FAK, and paxillin were associated with tyrosine-phosphorylated complexes in a hepatocyte cell line established from the transgenic liver. This proliferative stimulus triggered the formation of hepatocellular adenomas and/or carcinomas in most transgenic mice > or = 1.5 years of age. Finally, the rate of transgenic mouse liver regeneration was increased 3-fold over control livers following partial hepatectomy.


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HOME HELP FEEDBACK SUBSCRIPTIONS ARCHIVE SEARCH TABLE OF CONTENTS
Cancer Research Clinical Cancer Research
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention Molecular Cancer Therapeutics
Molecular Cancer Research Cell Growth & Differentiation
Copyright © 1996 by the American Association of Cancer Research.