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From NCBI Gene:
This gene encodes one of two neuropilins, which contain specific protein domains which allow them to participate in several different types of signaling pathways that control cell migration. Neuropilins contain a large N-terminal extracellular domain, made up of complement-binding, coagulation factor V/VIII, and meprin domains. These proteins also contains a short membrane-spanning domain and a small cytoplasmic domain. Neuropilins bind many ligands and various types of co-receptors; they affect cell survival, migration, and attraction. Some of the ligands and co-receptors bound by neuropilins are vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and semaphorin family members. Several alternatively spliced transcript variants that encode different protein isoforms have been described for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Oct 2011]
The membrane-bound isoform 1 is a receptor involved in the development of the cardiovascular system, in angiogenesis, in the formation of certain neuronal circuits and in organogenesis outside the nervous system. It mediates the chemorepulsant activity of semaphorins. It binds to semaphorin 3A, The PLGF-2 isoform of PGF, The VEGF165 isoform of VEGFA and VEGFB. Coexpression with KDR results in increased VEGF165 binding to KDR as well as increased chemotaxis. Regulate VEGF-induced angiogenesis. Binding to VEGFA initiates a signaling pathway needed for motor neuron axon guidance and cell body migration, including for the caudal migration of facial motor neurons from rhombomere 4 to rhombomere 6 during embryonic development.
The soluble isoform 2 binds VEGF-165 and appears to inhibit its binding to cells. It may also induce apoptosis by sequestering VEGF-165. May bind as well various members of the semaphorin family. Its expression has an averse effect on blood vessel number and integrity.