This gene is an ortholog of the Drosophila fat gene, which encodes a tumor suppressor essential for controlling cell proliferation during Drosophila development. The gene product is a member of the cadherin superfamily, a group of integral membrane proteins characterized by the presence of cadherin-type repeats. In addition to containing 34 tandem cadherin-type repeats, the gene product has five epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like repeats and one laminin A-G domain. This gene is expressed at high levels in a number of fetal epithelia. Its product probably functions as an adhesion molecule and/or signaling receptor, and is likely to be important in developmental processes and cell communication. Transcript variants derived from alternative splicing and/or alternative promoter usage exist, but they have not been fully described.
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