Mechanisms of boundary formation by Eph receptor and ephrin signaling


The formation of sharp borders, across which cell intermingling is restricted, has a crucial role in the establishment and maintenance of organized tissues. Signaling of Eph receptors and ephrins underlies formation of a number of boundaries between and within tissues during vertebrate development. Eph-ephrin signaling can regulate several types of cell response-adhesion, repulsion and tension-that can in principle underlie the segregation of cells and formation of sharp borders. Recent studies have implicated each of these cell responses as having important roles at different boundaries: repulsion at the mesoderm-ectoderm border, decreased adhesion at the notochord-presomitic mesoderm border, and tension at boundaries within the hindbrain and forebrain. These distinct responses to Eph receptor and ephrin activation may in part be due to the adhesive properties of the tissue.

Journal details

Volume 401
Issue number 1
Pages 122-131
Publication date


Type of publication

Crick labs/facilities