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Members of four cell guidance molecule families (the netrins, slits, ephrins and semaphorins) interact with their cognate cell surface receptors to guide cells during development and maintain tissue homeostasis. Integrated structure and cell-based analyses are providing insight into the mechanisms by which these signalling systems can deliver myriad outcomes that require exquisite accuracy in timing and location. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of the roles of oligomeric states, auto-inhibition, signalling assembly size and composition in cell guidance cue function.

Original publication




Journal article


Current opinion in structural biology

Publication Date





79 - 85


Division of Structural Biology, Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX3 7BN, United Kingdom.


Animals, Humans, Macromolecular Substances, Ephrins, Cell Adhesion Molecules, Semaphorins, Receptors, Cell Surface, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Ligands, Signal Transduction, Protein Binding, Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs, Protein Multimerization, Biomarkers