May act as a physical homophilic interaction molecule between intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) and intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) at the mucosal epithelium for providing immunological barrier as a first line of defense against mucosal infection. Plays a role in embryonic stem cells proliferation and differentiation. Up-regulates the expression of FABP5, MYC and cyclins A and E.
Highly and selectively expressed by undifferentiated rather than differentiated embryonic stem cells (ESC). Levels rapidly diminish as soon as ESC's differentiate (at protein levels). Expressed in almost all epithelial cell membranes but not on mesodermal or neural cell membranes. Found on the surface of adenocarcinoma.
Defects in EPCAM are the cause of diarrhea type 5 (DIAR5) [MIM:613217]. It is an intractable diarrhea of infancy characterized by villous atrophy and absence of inflammation, with intestinal epithelial cell dysplasia manifesting as focal epithelial tufts in the duodenum and jejunum. Defects in EPCAM are a cause of hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer type 8 (HNPCC8) [MIM:613244]. HNPCC is a disease associated with marked increase in cancer susceptibility. It is characterized by a familial predisposition to early-onset colorectal carcinoma (CRC) and extra-colonic tumors of the gastrointestinal, urological and female reproductive tracts. HNPCC is reported to be the most common form of inherited colorectal cancer in the Western world. Clinically, HNPCC is often divided into two subgroups. Type I is characterized by hereditary predisposition to colorectal cancer, a young age of onset, and carcinoma observed in the proximal colon. Type II is characterized by increased risk for cancers in certain tissues such as the uterus, ovary, breast, stomach, small intestine, skin, and larynx in addition to the colon. Diagnosis of classical HNPCC is based on the Amsterdam criteria: 3 or more relatives affected by colorectal cancer, one a first degree relative of the other two; 2 or more generation affected; 1 or more colorectal cancers presenting before 50 years of age; exclusion of hereditary polyposis syndromes. The term 'suspected HNPCC' or 'incomplete HNPCC' can be used to describe families who do not or only partially fulfill the Amsterdam criteria, but in whom a genetic basis for colon cancer is strongly suspected. Note=HNPCC8 results from heterozygous deletion of 3-prime exons of EPCAM and intergenic regions directly upstream of MSH2, resulting in transcriptional read-through and epigenetic silencing of MSH2 in tissues expressing EPCAM.
Belongs to the EPCAM family. Contains 1 thyroglobulin type-1 domain.
Hyperglycosylated in carcinoma tissue as compared with autologous normal epithelia. Glycosylation at Asn-198 is crucial for protein stability.
Lateral cell membrane. Cell junction > tight junction. Co-localizes with CLDN7 at the lateral cell membrane and tight junction.
Sukhbaatar N et al. Two different, mutually exclusively distributed, TP53 mutations in ovarian and peritoneal tumor tissues of a serous ovarian cancer patient: indicative for tumor origin? Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud3:N/A (2017).
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Ostenfeld MS et al. miRNA profiling of circulating EpCAM(+) extracellular vesicles: promising biomarkers of colorectal cancer. J Extracell Vesicles5:31488 (2016).
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