HGF -->
hepatocyte growth factor
medical dictionary

<growth factor>

Polypeptide mitogen originally shown to cause cell division in hepatocytes.

In the liver, the main sources of hepatocyte growth factor are nonparenchymal cells. It is now clear that hepatocyte growth factor is a mitogen for a number of cell types and it is found in many cells outside the liver, including platelets.

Hepatocyte growth factor is synthesised as a single chain precursor that is proteolytically cleaved to give a heavy chain (70 kD) and a light chain (30 kD) linked by a single disulphide bond. It contains multiple copies of the kringle domain.

However, both the single chain precursor and the two chain forms of hepatocyte growth factor are biologically active and hepatocyte growth factor is generally isolated as a mixture of the two forms. Hepatocyte growth factor also alters cell motility and is now known to be identical to scatter factor.

Acronym: HGF

This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology

(11 Mar 2008)