Identification of the ron gene product as the receptor for the human macrophage stimulating protein.
Macrophage-stimulating protein (MSP) is a member of the hepatocyte growth factor-scatter factor (HGF-SF) family. Labeled MSP bound to Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells transfected with complementary DNA encoding Ron, a cell membrane protein tyrosine kinase. Cross-linking of 125I-labeled MSP to transfected cells (MDCK-RE7 cells) and immunoprecipitation by antibodies to Ron revealed a 220-kilodalton complex, a size consistent with that of MSP (80 kilodaltons) cross-linked to the beta chain of Ron (150 kilodaltons). The binding of 125I-labeled MSP to MDCK-RE7 cells was inhibited by unlabeled MSP, but not by HGF-SF. MSP caused phosphorylation of the beta chain of Ron and induced migration of MDCK-RE7 cells. These results establish the ron gene product as a specific cell-surface receptor for MSP.