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The Role of the TAM Family of Receptor Tyrosine Kinases in Neural Development and Disorders

Author(s): Jun Zhang, Xin Qi

Tyrosine kinase receptor 3 (Tyro3), Axl, and Mer constitute the TAM family of receptor tyrosine kinases. These receptor tyrosine kinases are characterized by a conserved sequence within their shared ligands, growth arrest-specific gene-6 (Gas6) and protein S, are differentially expressed in the developing and adult nervous systems. The TAM family regulates normal cellular processes and plays an important role in nervous system development and diseases, including cell proliferation/survival, cell adhesion and migration, neuronal differentiation, cell apoptosis, myelination, degeneration, and immune regulation. This review summarizes the developing expression of the TAM family and ligands and their function in neural development and nervous system diseases. Further research will be necessary to fully elucidate the function of the TAM family and to evaluate the clinical implications of TAM family expression and activation in nervous system diseases.

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