Cell surface transmembrane ligand for Eph receptors, a family of receptor tyrosine kinases which are crucial for migration, repulsion and adhesion during neuronal, vascular and epithelial development. Binds promiscuously Eph receptors residing on adjacent cells, leading to contact-dependent bidirectional signaling into neighboring cells. The signaling pathway downstream of the receptor is referred to as forward signaling while the signaling pathway downstream of the ephrin ligand is referred to as reverse signaling. May play a pivotal role in forebrain function. Binds to, and induce the collapse of, commissural axons/growth cones in vitro. May play a role in constraining the orientation of longitudinally projecting axons (By similarity).; (Microbial infection) Acts as a receptor for nipah virus and hendra virus.