EphrinB2 also known as EFNB2 is a member of the ephrin family. EphrinB2 is involved in establishing arterial versus venous identity and perhaps in anastamosing arterial and venous vessels at their junctions. The transmembrane-associated ephrin ligands and their Eph family of receptor tyrosine kinases are expressed by cells of the SVZ. Eph/ephrin interactions are implicated in axon guidance, neural crest cell migration, establishment of segmental boundaries, and formation of angiogenic capillary plexi. Eph receptors and ephrins are divided into two subclasses, A and B, based on binding specificities. Ephrin subclasses are further distinguished by their mode of attachment to the plasma membrane: ephrin-A ligands bind EphA receptors and are anchored to the plasma membrane via a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) linkage, whereas ephrin-B ligands bind EphB receptors and are anchored via a transmembrane domain. An exception is the EphA4 receptor, which binds both subclasses of ephrins. EphrinB2 expression progressively extends from the arterial endothelium to surrounding smooth muscle cells and to pericytes, suggesting that ephrin-B2 may play an important role during formation of the arterial muscle wall.
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