John Libbey Eurotext



Semaphorins and cell migration Volume 7, issue 1, Janvier - Février 2001


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Unité Inserm U. 448, faculté de médecine, 8, rue du Général-Sarrail, 94010 Créteil.

Semaphorins were initially described as repulsive cues in the central nervous system. As new members of the family were characterized, a classification in seven sub-families was established. All the members share a common extracellular domain known as Sema domain. In the central nervous system, other semaphorins were described which exert an attractive effect on axonal migration. Moreover, many semaphorins were described out of the nervous system. Thus, CD100 was first identified through its involvement in lymphocyte activation and then, after cloning the gene, was classified as a semaphorin. Semaphorins were also identified as viral products and the expression of some semaphorin genes correlated to appearance of diseases like cancer or inflammatory pathology. All the available data suggest that these semaphorins could act on immune cell migration. Some molecules would regulate cell adhesion (as CD100 and poxvirus semaphorin) whereas others would more directly act on migration process like CD100 which inhibits immune cell migration.