Author(s): Chdotal A, Kerjan G, MoreauFauvarque C
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Abstract Slits, semaphorins and netrins are three families of proteins that can attract or repel growing axons and migrating neurons in the developing nervous system of vertebrates and invertebrates. Recent studies have shown that they are widely expressed outside the nervous system and that they may play important roles in cancers. Several of the genes encoding these proteins are localized on chromosomal region associated with frequent loss-of-heterozygosity in tumors and cancer cell lines and there is also significant hypermethylation of their promoter suggesting that they may act as tumor suppressors. In addition, proteins in all these families and their receptors appear to control the vascularization of the tumors. Last, many axon guidance molecules also regulate cell migration and apoptosis in normal and tumorigenic tissues. Overall, this suggests that molecules that could mimick or block the activity of axon guidance molecules may be used as therapeutic agents for the treatment of malignancy.
This article was published in Cell Death Differ
and referenced in Otolaryngology: Open Access