NRP-2 is a pleiotropic cell surface receptor that is important for its role in axon guidance during neuronal development, as well as in the development of the lymphatic system and in regulating inflammatory responses.
NRP-2 can bind to multiple ligands and co-receptors to influence various functional roles, including interaction with type 3 semaphorins and plexins to impact neural development, and also forms of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), especially VEGF-C, which is involved in lymphangiogenesis.
Recent evidence suggests that there are high levels of NRP-2 expression found on different immune cell types, which may play important roles in migration, antigen presentation, phagocytosis and cell-to-cell interactions. NRP-2 is expressed in various cells of the immune system such as B cells, T-cells, NK cells, neutrophils, dendritic cells and macrophages, including alveolar macrophages. It plays an important role in the regulation of immune cell activation and migration including endosome maturation, the modulation of autophagy and efferocytosis. This suggests that NRP-2 may be an important regulator of biological responses in a number of different disease settings with potential for therapeutic intervention.
We are currently investigating the role of NRP-2 as a therapeutic target to control immune and other responses and designing optimal approaches to modulate this pathway in a number of diseases with high unmet medical need.