, Volume 23, Issue 5–6, pp 265–289 | Cite as

Dying to communicate: apoptotic functions of Eph/Ephrin proteins

  • Mustapha Kandouz


The Erythropoietin-producing human hepatocellular carcinoma (Eph) receptors constitute the largest family of receptor tyrosine kinases and interact with a group of ligands called Ephrins. An essential feature of the Eph receptors and Ephrin ligands is that both are membrane-bound and, upon cell–cell interaction, initiate a bidirectional signaling involving both the receptor (forward signaling) and the ligand (reverse signaling). They regulate a large set of pleiotropic functions in virtually every tissue and physiological system. In vitro as well as in vivo data support a role for Eph and Ephrin molecules in cellular processes such as proliferation, cell–cell attraction and repulsion, motility and sorting. An increasing amount of evidence supports a role for these molecules in apoptosis and, although this function in cell death has been barely examined, the available information warrants a global consideration, to identify unmet needs and potential research avenues. Here we propose a comprehensive analysis of the data available regarding the importance of Ephs and Ephrins in cell death mechanisms throughout a large array of physiological systems.


Eph receptor Ephrin Cell–cell communication Intercellular communication Apoptosis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyWayne State University School of MedicineDetroitUSA
  2. 2.Karmanos Cancer InstituteWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA

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