Eph receptors constitute the largest family of tyrosine kinase receptors and mediate critical steps of a wide variety of physiological and pathological processes. They are divided into two groups, EphA receptor and EphB receptor, depending on the types of ligands (ephrins) that they bind. Eph receptors are also cell surface receptors.They are so designated because they are related to Eph, the first receptor described, which was named for its expression in an erythropoietin producing human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line.
In addition, as members of growth factor receptors, Eph/ephrin signaling has recently been identified to play a critical role in the maintenance of several processes during adulthood including long-term potentiation, angiogenesis, and stem cell differentiation and cancer.
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