Agrin and neuregulin, expanding roles and implications for therapeutics

Biotechnol Adv. May-Jun 2008;26(3):187-201. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2007.11.003. Epub 2007 Dec 4.


Agrin and neuregulin are broadly expressed molecules that have significant developmental roles. Here we review the diverse temporal and spatial expression patterns and functions of these molecules and the impact that dysregulation may have on a number of disease states. Many know agrin as a modulator of synaptogenesis and the neuregulins for their prominent role in breast cancer; this review elaborates on many of the other proposed functions for these molecules both in the nervous system and elsewhere. In several instances we discuss the possible use of agrin, neuregulin and related molecules as therapeutic agents.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Agrin / metabolism*
  • Agrin / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy
  • Heart Failure / pathology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / drug therapy
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / pathology
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neuregulins / genetics
  • Neuregulins / metabolism*
  • Neuregulins / therapeutic use*


  • Agrin
  • Neuregulins