The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 61: 215 - 224 (2017)

Vol 61, Issue 3-4-5

Special Issue: Developmental Biology in Israel

TAM receptor signaling in development

Published: 2 June 2017

Tal Burstyn-Cohen*

The Institute for Dental Sciences, Faculty of Dental Medicine, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel


TYRO3, AXL and MERTK comprise the TAM family of receptor protein tyrosine kinases. Activated by their ligands, protein S (PROS1) and growth-arrest-specific 6 (GAS6), they mediate numerous cellular functions throughout development and adulthood. Expressed by a myriad of cell types and tissues, they have been implicated in homeostatic regulation of the immune, nervous, vascular, bone and reproductive systems. The loss-of-function of TAM signaling in adult tissues culminates in the destruction of tissue homeostasis and diseased states, while TAM gain-of-function in various tumors promotes cancer phenotypes. Combinatorial ligand-receptor interactions may elicit different molecular and cellular responses. Many of the TAM regulatory functions are essentially developmental, taking place both during embryogenesis and postnatally. This review highlights current knowledge on the role of TAM receptors and their ligands during these developmental processes in the immune, nervous, vascular and reproductive systems.


TAM receptor, TAM signaling, PROS1, Protein S, GAS6

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