The semaphorins: versatile regulators of tumour progression and tumour angiogenesis

Nat Rev Cancer. 2008 Aug;8(8):632-45. doi: 10.1038/nrc2404. Epub 2008 Jun 26.


The semaphorins and their receptors, the neuropilins and the plexins, were originally characterized as constituents of the complex regulatory system responsible for the guidance of axons during the development of the central nervous system. However, a growing body of evidence indicates that various semaphorins can either promote or inhibit tumour progression through the promotion or inhibition of processes such as tumour angiogenesis, tumour metastasis and tumour cell survival. This Review focuses on the emerging role of the semaphorins in cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Neuropilins / physiology
  • Semaphorins / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal
  • Neuropilins
  • Semaphorins