The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 48: 451 - 456 (2004)

Vol 48, Issue 5-6

Special Issue: Invasion in Cancer and Embryonic Development

Invasive growth: a genetic program

Published: 1 September 2004

Alessandra Gentile and Paolo M. Comoglio

IRCC, Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment, University of Torino School of Medicine, Candiolo, Torino, Italy.


Invasive growth is defined as a complex biological program which instructs cells to dissociate, migrate, degrade the surrounding matrix, proliferate and survive. Together, these processes account for tissue morphogenesis, homeostasis and repair, and can be aberrantly implemented for cancer dissemination and metastasis. Individual aspects of this process can be controlled by many cytokines and growth factors. However, coordinated regulation of invasive growth as a whole is specifically accomplished by Hepatocyte Growth Factor, a soluble factor which acts through the tyrosine kinase receptor Met. Here we discuss the different biological facets of invasive growth and analyze the intracellular signals which lead to its execution.


invasive growth, HGF, Met, tyrosine kinase

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