Document Type


Publication Date

January 2000

Journal Title

The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology




The Eph receptors are the largest known family of receptor tyrosine kinases. The Eph receptors and theirmembrane-attached ligands, ephrins, show diverse expression patterns during development. Recent studies havedemonstrated that Eph receptors and ephrins play important roles in many developmental processes, includingneuronal network formation, the patterning of the neural tube and the paraxial mesoderm, the guidance of cellmigration, and vascular formation. In the nervous system, Eph receptors and ephrins have been shown to act aspositional labels to establish topographic projections. They also play a key role in pathway ®nding by axons andneural crest cells. The crucial roles of Eph receptors and ephrins during development suggest involvement of thesegenes in congenital disorders a.ecting the nervous system and other tissues. It has also been suggested that Ephreceptors and ephrins may be involved in carcinogenesis. It is therefore of clinical importance to further analyse thefunction of these molecules, as manipulation of their function may have therapeutic applications. # 1999 ElsevierScience Ltd. All rights reserved.