Hepatocyte growth factor/hepatopoietin A stimulates the growth of rat kidney proximal tubule epithelial cells (RPTE), rat nonparenchymal liver cells, human melanoma cells, mouse keratinocytes and stimulates anchorage-independent growth of SV-40 transformed RPTE.
Hepatocyte growth factor/hepatopoietin A is a mitogen for primary hepatocytes and may mediate regeneration after liver damage. To date, the activity of this novel factor has been restricted to hepatocytes. We now show that the factor is also a mitogen for a number of primary epithelial cells but is inactive with human foreskin fibroblasts, human endothelial cells and HEP3B cells. The factor also substitutes for HBGF-2 (basic FGF) in stimulating the anchorage-independent growth of SV-40 transformed rat kidney epithelial cells. Therefore, hepatocyte growth factor/hepatopoietin A appears to act on a variety of epithelial, but not mesenchymal, cells which respond to HBGFs.