Semaphorin proteins, although initially characterized as repulsive neuronal guidance cues, are now appreciated as major contributors to morphogenesis and homeostasis for a wide range of tissue types. Semaphorin-mediated long- and short-range repulsive, and attractive, guidance has profound influences on cellular morphology. The diversity of semaphorin receptor complexes utilized by various semaphorin ligands, the ability of semaphorins themselves to serve as receptors, and the myriad of intracellular signaling components that comprise semaphorin signaling cascades all contribute to cell-type-specific responses to semaphorins. Analysis of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying semaphorin function in neural and vascular systems provides insight into principles governing how this large protein family contributes to organogenesis, function, and disease.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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