The sequence of HGF gene spans approximately 70Kb which contains 18 exons, interrupted by 17 introns. HGF gene has a single open reading frame of 2,184 nucleotides and 3' noncoding regions of 3580 nucleotides which contain many A'U-rich sequences. The A' U-rich sequence is known to be a recognition signal for an mRNA processing pathway for degradation of the mRNA, and mRNAs possessing this A'U-rich sequence are thought to be expressed transiently. Bothαandβsubunits of HGF are encoded in a single mRNA.
Among these exons, the first exon of HGF gene contains the S-untranslated region and the signal peptide. The next ten exons of HGF gene encode the α-chain which contains four kringle structures. Each kringle domain is encoded by two exons as observed in other kringle-containing proteins. The cleavage site between theα- andβ-chain encoded in the thirteenth exon. The remaining six exons of HGF gene constitute the β-chain. The last, eighteenth, exon contains the C-terminal part of theβchain and a long 3'-noncoding region. The organization of the human HGF gene is highly homologous to that of human plasminogen suggesting that the HGF gene is evolutionally related to plasminogen genes. There are many kinds of cis-elements-regulatory motifs upstream from the TATA box on HGF genes of humans and rats. More recently, the locus of HGF gene was analyzed in chromosomes of mouse and woodchuck and it is located in the q22 of the chromosome 3 in woodchuck, and the proximal region of the chromosome 5 in mouse. In humans, it is located in the chromosome 7.