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Gene of the month: HGF
  1. Ana Belen Fajardo-Puerta1,
  2. Mireia Mato Prado2,
  3. Adam E Frampton1,2,
  4. Long R Jiao1
  1. 1 HPB Surgical Unit, Department of Surgery & Cancer, Imperial College, London, UK
  2. 2 Division of Cancer, Department of Surgery & Cancer, Imperial College, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Prof. Long R. Jiao, HPB Surgical Unit, Department of Surgery & Cancer, Imperial College, Hammersmith Hospital Campus, Du Cane Road, London W12 0HS, UK; l.jiao{at}


Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a multifunctional cytokine with important roles in cell proliferation, survival, motility and morphogenesis. Secreted by cells of mesenchymal origin, HGF is the specific ligand for the tyrosine-kinase receptor c-MET (cellular mesenchymal-epithelial transition), also called MET, which is expressed in different types of epithelial, endothelial and haematopoietic progenitor cells. The HGF/MET axis is involved in several biological processes, such as embryogenesis, organogenesis, adult tissue regeneration (including wound healing and liver regeneration) and carcinogenesis, for both solid and haematological malignancies.1 2 HGF and its particular interaction with the MET receptor have been extensively investigated in the last decades and remain the focus of numerous clinical trials.3–8 This short review focuses on HGF structure and function, as well as its roles in liver regeneration and different types of tumours.


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