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Oncogene. 2000 Nov 20;19(49):5614-9.

Eph receptors and ephrin ligands: embryogenesis to tumorigenesis.

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The Burnham Institute, 10901 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California, CA 92037, USA.


Protein tyrosine kinase genes are the largest family of oncogenes. This is not surprising since tyrosine kinases are important components of signal transduction pathways that control cell shape, proliferation, differentiation, and migration. At 14 distinct members, the Eph kinases constitute the largest family of receptor tyrosine kinases. Although they have been most intensively studied for their roles in embryonic development, increasing evidence also implicates Eph family proteins in cancer. This review will address the recent progress in understanding the function of Eph receptors in normal development and how disregulation of these functions could promote tumorigenesis.

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