Semaphorin Signaling in Cancer-Associated Inflammation

Giulia Franzolin, Luca Tamagnone

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The inflammatory and immune response elicited by the growth of cancer cells is a major element conditioning the tumor microenvironment, impinging on disease progression and patients' prognosis. Semaphorin receptors are widely expressed in inflammatory cells, and their ligands are provided by tumor cells, featuring an intense signaling cross-talk at local and systemic levels. Moreover, diverse semaphorins control both cells of the innate and the antigen-specific immunity. Notably, semaphorin signals acting as inhibitors of anti-cancer immune response are often dysregulated in human tumors, and may represent potential therapeutic targets. In this mini-review, we provide a survey of the best known semaphorin regulators of inflammatory and immune cells, and discuss their functional impact in the tumor microenvironment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 17 2019


  • cancer
  • immunity
  • inflammation
  • lymphocyte
  • macrophage
  • neuropilin
  • plexin
  • semaphorin
  • signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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