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Although originally discovered as neuronal growth cone-collapsing factors, repulsive guidance molecules (RGMs) are now known as key players in many fundamental processes, such as cell migration, differentiation, iron homeostasis, and apoptosis, during the development and homeostasis of many tissues and organs, including the nervous, skeletal, and immune systems. Furthermore, three RGMs (RGMa, RGMb/DRAGON, and RGMc/hemojuvelin) have been linked to the pathogenesis of various disorders ranging from multiple sclerosis (MS) to cancer and juvenile hemochromatosis (JHH). While the molecular details of these (patho)biological effects and signaling modes have long remained unknown, recent studies unveil several exciting and novel aspects of RGM processing, ligand-receptor interactions, and downstream signaling. In this review, we highlight recent advances in the mechanisms-of-action and function of RGM proteins.

Original publication




Journal article


Trends Cell Biol

Publication Date





365 - 378


BMP, axon guidance, immune system, iron metabolism, neogenin, proteolytic cleavage, Animals, Humans, Ligands, Models, Biological, Multigene Family, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Receptors, Cell Surface, Signal Transduction