Cells send out stop signs
Eph receptors and their partner proteins, the ephrins, are vital for intercellular communication. In the developing brain, they guide young neurons to the right partner cells by repulsion. They also play important roles in cell migration, regeneration, neurodegenerative diseases and the development of cancer. Until recently, scientists assumed that ephrin/Eph signal transmission could only occur through direct cell-cell contact. However, researchers have now shown that cells can also pack and release active ephrins and Eph receptors through extracellular vesicles. Not only does this discovery improve our understanding of this communication system, it may also pave the way for new therapeutic strategies.