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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Whittock NV, McLean WH (2001). "Genomic organization, amplification, fine mapping, and intragenic polymorphisms of the human hemidesmosomal tetraspanin CD151 gene". Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun.281 (2): 425–30. doi:10.1006/bbrc.2001.4384. PMID11181065.
Charrin S, Le Naour F, Oualid M, Billard M, Faure G, Hanash SM, Boucheix C, Rubinstein E (2001). "The major CD9 and CD81 molecular partner. Identification and characterization of the complexes". J. Biol. Chem.276 (17): 14329–37. doi:10.1074/jbc.M011297200. PMID11278880.
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.