The adult heart has been recently recognized as a self-renewing organ that contains a pool of committed resident cardiac stem cells (CSCs) and cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs). These adult CSCs and CPCs can be induced by cytokines and growth factors to migrate, differentiate, and proliferate in situ and potentially replace lost cardiomyocytes. Ligand-receptor systems, such as the tyrosine kinase receptor mesenchymal-epithelial transition factor (Met) and its ligand hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), are potential candidates for boosting migration, engraftment and commitment of CSCs. Here, we discuss the possible application of HGF/Met gene therapy to enhance the ability of CSCs to promote myocardial regeneration. © Springer-Verlag 2010.