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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2006 Oct;18(5):533-40. Epub 2006 Aug 22.

Repulsion or adhesion: receptors make the call.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


Repulsive signaling plays a prominent role in regulating cell-cell interactions and is fundamental to multiple developmental processes. A proper balance between repulsion from and adhesion to other cells or the extracellular matrix is also important. Semaphorin-Plexin and ephrin-Eph ligand-receptor pairs compose two major repulsive signaling systems. Recent advances have elucidated mechanisms by which Semaphorin-Plexin and ephrin-Eph signaling control repulsion versus adhesion. Semaphorins act through a complex signaling pathway to inhibit integrin-mediated adhesion, allowing cell repulsion. Ephrin-Eph interactions can directly mediate cell adhesion and several mechanisms control whether ephrin-Eph binding and signaling induces repulsion or adhesion.

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