Eph receptor tyrosine kinases and their ligands, the ephrins, appear to lie functionally at the interface between pattern formation and morphogenesis. We review the role of Eph and ephrin signalling in the formation of segmented structures, in the control of axon guidance and cell migration and in the development of the vasculature. We address the question of how the specificity of response is achieved and discuss the specificity of ephrin-Eph interactions and the significance of structural domains in Eph receptors.

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