Plays a significant role in maintaining keratin filament organization in intestinal epithelia. When phosphorylated, plays a role in the secretion of mucin in the small intestine.
Expressed predominantly in the intestinal epithelium. Expressed in luminal cells of colonic mucosa. Also expressed in the Merkel cells of keratinized oral mucosa; specifically at the tips of some rete ridges of the gingival mucosa, in the basal layer of the palatal mucosa and in the taste buds of lingual mucosa.
Belongs to the intermediate filament family.
First detected at embryonic week 8 in individual 'converted' simple epithelial cells of the developing intestinal mucosa. In later fetal stages, synthesis extends over most goblet cells and a variable number of villus enterocytes. In the developing gastric and intestinal mucosa, expressed in all enterocytes and goblet cells as well as certain 'low-differentiated' columnar cells, whereas the neuroendocrine and Paneth cells are negative.
Hyperphosphorylation at Ser-13 occurs during the early stages of apoptosis but becomes less prominent during the later stages. Phosphorylation at Ser-13 also increases in response to stress brought on by cell injury. Proteolytically cleaved by caspases during apoptosis. Cleavage occurs at Asp-228.
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