EphBs and ephrin-Bs: Trans-synaptic organizers of synapse development and function

Mol Cell Neurosci. 2018 Sep:91:108-121. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2018.07.002. Epub 2018 Jul 19.


Synapses are specialized cell-cell junctions that underlie the function of neural circuits by mediating communication between neurons. Both the formation and function of synapses require tight coordination of signaling between pre- and post-synaptic neurons. Trans-synaptic organizing molecules are important mediators of such signaling. Here we discuss how the EphB and ephrin-B families of trans-synaptic organizing proteins direct synapse formation during early development and regulate synaptic function and plasticity at mature synapses. Finally, we highlight recent evidence linking the synaptic organizing role of EphBs and ephrin-Bs to diseases of maladaptive synaptic function and plasticity.

Keywords: Ephrins; Ephs; Maladaptive plasticity; Neuropathic pain; Synaptic plasticity; Synaptogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ephrins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neurogenesis
  • Receptors, Eph Family / metabolism*
  • Synapses / metabolism*
  • Synapses / physiology
  • Synaptic Transmission


  • Ephrins
  • Receptors, Eph Family