The met proto-oncogene product Met is a member of the family of tyrosine kinase growth factor receptors, and hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF) has been identified as its only ligand. Bovine Met and HGF/SF have been recently cloned and their expression has been characterized in the mammary gland, but no data regarding the biological effects of this ligand/receptor couple in bovine mammary cells are yet available. We examined the role of HGF/SF and its receptor in a bovine mammary epithelial cell line (BME-UV). Expression of Met at the mRNA level in BME-UV mammary epithelial cells evaluated by real-time PCR was similar to the expression in MDCK cells, a widely used model for Met biology. Met expression in BME-UV at the protein level was confirmed by western blot. The analysis of some signal transductional pathways downstream from the Met receptor revealed that HGF/SF addition to BME-UV cells induced activation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase ¹⁄₂ proliferative pathway and the Akt antiapoptotic pathway. The BME-UV cells treated with HGF responded with increased proliferation, cell scatter, and motility. Met activation by HGFinduced degradation of the extracellular matrix and migration through matrigel coated transwells. Moreover, BME-UV cells included in a 3-dimensional matrix of collagen and treated with HGF developed tubular structures, reminiscent of the mammary gland ducts. These data indicate that HGF and Met might be important regulators of mammary gland growth, morphogenesis, and development in the bovine.
Hepatocyte growth factor exerts multiple biological functions on bovine mammary epithelial cells / Accornero, P; Martignani, E; Macchi, E; Baratta, M. - In: JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE. - ISSN 1525-3198. - 90(9)(2007), pp. 4289-4296.
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