Scatter-factor and semaphorin receptors: cell signalling for invasive growth

Nat Rev Cancer. 2002 Apr;2(4):289-300. doi: 10.1038/nrc779.


Malignant disease occurs when neoplastic cells abandon their primary site of accretion, cross tissue boundaries and penetrate the vasculature to colonize distant sites. This process --metastasis--is the aberrant counterpart of a physiological programme for organ regeneration and maintenance. Scatter factors and semaphorins, together with their receptors, help to orchestrate this programme. What are the differences between physiological and pathological activation of these signalling molecules, and can we exploit them therapeutically to prevent metastasis?

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism
  • Cell Division
  • Down-Regulation
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / biosynthesis*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • plexin
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor