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Trends Neurosci. 2002 Mar;25(3):145-9.

Ephrin-As as receptors in topographic projections.

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  • 1MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, King's College London, 4th Floor, New Hunt's House, London, UK.


The Eph family of receptor tyrosine kinases and their 'ligands', the ephrins, have been implicated in a large number of developmental processes, such as boundary formation, cell migration, axon guidance and vasculogenesis. A characteristic of the EphB subclass is that both EphBs and transmembrane-anchored ephrin-Bs function as receptors and as ligands, a phenomenon commonly described as 'bi-directional signalling'. Here we review recent data indicating that EphA receptors and glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored ephrin-As can also mediate bi-directional signalling. Moreover, characterization of the expression of ephrin-As on axons of the retinotectal and vomeronasal projections suggests that the EphA subfamily is involved in both repulsive and attractive guidance mechanisms during establishment of neuronal connections.

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