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.
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Kohno M, Hasegawa H, Miyake M, Yamamoto T, Fujita S (2002). "CD151 enhances cell motility and metastasis of cancer cells in the presence of focal adhesion kinase". Int. J. Cancer97 (3): 336–43. doi:10.1002/ijc.1605. PMID11774285.