Ephrins are divided into the ephrin-A (EFNA) class and the ephrin-B (EFNB) class based on their structures and sequence relationships. Ephrin receptors make up the largest subgroup of the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) family. EphB6 is an unusual Eph receptor, lacking catalytic capacity due to alterations in its kinase domain. Interestingly, increased metastatic activity is associated with reduced EphB6 receptor expression in several tumor types, including breast cancer. This emphasizes the potential of EphB6 to act as a suppressor of cancer aggressiveness. EphB6 suppress cancer invasiveness through c-Cbl-dependent signaling, morphologic changes, and cell attachment and indicate that EphB6 may represent a useful prognostic marker and a promising target for therapeutic approaches. EphB6 can both positively and negatively regulate cell adhesion and migration, and suggest that tyrosine phosphorylation of the receptor by an Src family kinase acts as the molecular switch for the functional transition. In addition, Ephrin-B2 may be a physiological ligand for the EphB6 receptor.
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