EPH-related receptor tyrosine kinase ligand 4 (Ephrin-A4) also known as EFNA4, is a member of the Ephrin family. The Eph family receptor interacting proteins (ephrins) are a family of proteins that serve as the ligands of the Eph receptor, which compose the largest known subfamily of receptor protein-tyrosine kinases (RTKs). Eph/ephrin interactions are implicated in axon guidance, neural crest cell migration, establishment of segmental boundaries, and formation of angiogenic capillary plexi. 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. Ephrin-A4/EFNA4 functions as a cell surface GPI-bound ligand for Eph receptor, a family of receptor tyrosine kinases which are crucial for migration, repulsion and adhesion during neuronal, vascular and epithelial development.
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