The neuropilins: multifunctional semaphorin and VEGF receptors that modulate axon guidance and angiogenesis

Trends Cardiovasc Med. 2002 Jan;12(1):13-9. doi: 10.1016/s1050-1738(01)00140-2.


The neuropilin-1 (np1) and neuropilin-2 (np2) receptors function as receptors for the axon guidance factors belonging to the class-3 semaphorin subfamily. In addition, both neuropilins are able to bind to certain heparin-binding splice forms of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), indicating that both neuropilins have roles in the cardiovascular system as well. Gene targeting experiments indicate that np1 does indeed function as an important modulator of VEGF function during vasculogenesis and angiogenesis, but the role of np2 in the cardiovascular system has not been studied in detail as yet. This review focuses on the neuropilins, their interactions, and their biological roles in the nervous and cardiovascular systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / chemistry
  • Axons / metabolism
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / chemistry
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lymphokines / physiology
  • Mice
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / physiology
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / chemistry
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology*
  • Neuropilin-1
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / chemistry
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Lymphokines
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Transcription Factors
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Neuropilin-1