Emerging roles for the BAI1 protein family in the regulation of phagocytosis, synaptogenesis, neurovasculature, and tumor development

J Mol Med (Berl). 2011 Aug;89(8):743-52. doi: 10.1007/s00109-011-0759-x. Epub 2011 Apr 21.


While G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) have received considerable attention for their biological activity in a diversity of physiological functions and have become targets for therapeutic intervention in many diseases, the function of the cell adhesion subfamily of GPCRs remains poorly understood. Within this group, the family of brain angiogenesis inhibitor molecules (BAI1-3) has become increasingly appreciated for their diverse roles in biology and disease. In particular, recent findings suggest emerging roles for BAI1 in the regulation of phenomena including phagocytosis, synaptogenesis, and the inhibition of tumor growth and angiogenesis via the processing of its extracellular domain into secreted vasculostatins. Here we summarize the known biological features of the BAI proteins, including their structure, proteolysis events, and interacting partners, and their recently identified ability to regulate certain signaling pathways. Finally, we discuss the potential of the BAIs as therapeutics or targets for diseases as varied as cancer, stroke, and schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Angiogenic Proteins / chemistry
  • Angiogenic Proteins / genetics
  • Angiogenic Proteins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Nervous System / blood supply*
  • Nervous System / metabolism*
  • Neurogenesis*
  • Phagocytosis*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Synapses / metabolism*


  • ADGRB1 protein, human
  • Angiogenic Proteins
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled