The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the transmembrane 4 superfamily, also known as the tetraspanin family. Most of these members are cell-surface proteins that are characterized by the presence of four hydrophobic domains. The proteins mediate signal transduction events that play a role in the regulation of cell development, activation, growth and motility. This encoded protein is a cell surface glycoprotein that is known to complex with integrins and other transmembrane 4 superfamily proteins. It is involved in cellular processes including cell adhesion and may regulate integrin trafficking and/or function. This protein enhances cell motility, invasion and metastasis of cancer cells. Multiple alternatively spliced transcript variants that encode the same protein have been described for this gene.
Fibrosarcoma cells, reportedly stained with an antibody binding to CD151 (green) and a dye for the nucleus (blue).
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