Navigating Breast Cancer: Axon Guidance Molecules as Breast Cancer Tumor Suppressors and Oncogenes



Slit, Netrin, Ephrin, and Semaphorin’s roles in development have expanded greatly in the past decade from their original characterization as axon guidance molecules (AGMs) to include roles as regulators of tissue morphogenesis and development in diverse organs. In the mammary gland, AGMs are important for maintaining normal cell proliferation and adhesion during development. The frequent dysregulation of AGM expression during tumorigenesis and tumor progression suggests that AGMs also play a crucial role as tumor suppressors and oncogenes in breast cancer. Moreover, these findings suggest that AGMs may be excellent targets for new breast cancer prognostic tests and more effective therapeutic strategies.


Axon guidance molecules Netrin Semaphorin Ephrin Slit Robo 



Axon Guidance Molecule


Complement-Homology Domain


Epidermal Growth Factor


Estrogen Receptor




Meptin/A5/Mu-Phosphatase Homology Domain


Terminal End Bud



This work was supported by funds from the NIH RO1 (CA-128902, L.H.), Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (W81XWH-08-1-0380, L.H.), Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group (L.H.) and the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (TG2-01157, G.H.).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaSanta CruzUSA

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