Ephrin-B1 also known as EFNB1, is a member of the ephrin family. The transmembrane- associated ephrin ligands and their Eph family of receptor tyrosine kinases are expressed by cells of the SVZ. Eph/ephrin interactions are implicated in axon guidance, neural crest cell migration, establishment of segmental boundaries, and formation of angiogenic capillary plexi. Eph receptors and ephrins are divided into two subclasses, A and B, based on binding specificities. Ephrin subclasses are further distinguished by their mode of attachment to the plasma membrane: ephrin-A ligands bind EphA receptors and are anchored to the plasma membrane via a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) linkage, whereas ephrin-B ligands bind EphB receptors and are anchored via a transmembrane domain. An exception is the EphA4 receptor, which binds both subclasses of ephrins. EphrinB1 and B class Eph receptors provide positional cues required for the normal morphogenesis of skeletal elements. Another malformation, preaxial polydactyly, was exclusively seen in heterozygous females in which expression of the X-linked ephrinB1 gene was mosaic, so that ectopic EphB-ephrinB1 interactions led to restricted cell movements and the bifurcation of digital rays.
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