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Curr Biol. 1997 Dec 1;7(12):R799-807.

The Eph family in the patterning of neural development.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institute for Developmental Biology, Spemannstrasse 35/I, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.


The Eph family represents the largest subfamily of receptor tyrosine kinases. Its members are predominantly expressed in the developing and adult nervous system. Besides playing an important role in the contact-mediated repulsion of axons, they have recently also been implicated in the control of cell migration. Characteristics of the Eph family are extended promiscuity in the interaction between receptors and ligands, the necessity of membrane attachment of the ligands to exert their function, the lack of induction of mitogenic responses, and the bi-directional signalling of receptors and ligands.

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