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Trends Biochem Sci. 2005 Nov;30(11):611-21. Epub 2005 Sep 26.

Cell-surface co-receptors: emerging roles in signaling and human disease.

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Duke University Medical Center, Department of Medicine, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


Extracellular signals are transmitted to cells through two classes of cell-surface receptors: signaling receptors that directly transduce signals and signaling co-receptors that bind ligand but that, traditionally, have not been thought to signal directly. Signaling co-receptors modulate the ligand binding and signaling of their respective signaling receptors. In recent years, roles for co-receptors have expanded to include essential functions in morphogen gradient formation, localizing signaling, signaling independently, regulating cell adhesion and orchestrating the signaling of several pathways. The importance of signaling co-receptors is demonstrated by their ubiquitous expression, their conservation during evolution, their prominent role in signaling cascades, their indispensable role during development and their frequent mutation or altered expression in human disease.

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