This gene encodes a member of the hedgehog family. The hedgehog gene family encodes signaling molecules that play an important role in regulating morphogenesis. This protein is predicted to be made as a precursor that is autocatalytically cleaved; the N-terminal portion is soluble and contains the signalling activity while the C-terminal portion is involved in precursor processing. More importantly, the C-terminal product covalently attaches a cholesterolmoiety to the N-terminal product, restricting the N-terminal product to the cell surface and preventing it from freely diffusing throughout the organism.
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^Tate G, Satoh H, Endo Y, Mitsuya T (2000). "Assignment of desert hedgehog (DHH) to human chromosome bands 12q12→q13.1 by in situ hybridization". Cytogenet. Cell Genet. 88 (1–2): 93–4. doi:10.1159/000015495. PMID10773676. S2CID36364525.