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J Cell Sci. 2003 Jul 15;116(Pt 14):2823-32.

'Eph'ective signaling: forward, reverse and crosstalk.

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The Burnham Institute, Neurobiology Program, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


The Eph receptors comprise the largest group of receptor tyrosine kinases and are found in a wide variety of cell types in developing and mature tissues. Their ligands are the ephrins, a family of membrane-bound proteins found in lipid rafts. In the past decade, Eph receptors and ephrins have been implicated in a vast array of cellular processes. Unlike other receptor tyrosine kinases, however, the Eph receptors seem to be geared towards regulating cell shape and movement rather than proliferation. Studies have uncovered intricate signaling networks that center around the ligand-receptor complex, and this may account for the broad repertoire of functions of Eph proteins. Deciphering the bi-directional pathways emanating from an Eph receptor-ephrin complex will not only help us to understand basic biological processes, but may also provide important insight into disease.

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