Ep-CAM (epithelial adhesion molecule, epithelial specific antigen, ESA) is a transmembrane glycoprotein expressed in the epithelium with a molecular weight of approximately 40 kDa, which functions as an epithelial cell adhesion molecule. Ep-CAM functions as a homotypic calcium-independent cell adhesion molecule, and has a direct impact on cell cycle, proliferation and metabolism of epithelial cells and fibroblasts due to its ability to rapidly induce the proto-oncogene c-myc and the cell cycle regulating genes cyclin A and E. Ep-CAM mediates Ca2+-independent homotypic interactions. Formation of Ep-CAM-mediated adhesions have a negative regulatory effect on adhesions mediated by classic cadherins, which may have strong effects on the differentiation and growth of epithelial cells. Ep-CAM overexpression was suggested to be associated with enhanced epithelial proliferation. Ep-CAM is highly expressed in human carcinomas, and is a marker for tumors of epithelial lineage. Ep-CAM is expressed on baso-lateral cell surface in most simple epithelia and many carcinoma types. Also, Ep-CAM reportedly distinguishes adenocarcinomas from pleural mesotheliomas.
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Protein Aliases: Adenocarcinoma-associated antigen; CD326; Cell surface glycoprotein Trop-1; EGP; EGP314; Ep-CAM; Epithelial cell adhesion molecule; Epithelial cell surface antigen; Epithelial glycoprotein; Epithelial glycoprotein 314; hEGP314; human epithelial glycoprotein-2; KS 1/4 antigen; KSA; lymphocyte antigen 74; Major gastrointestinal tumor-associated protein GA733-2; mEGP314; membrane component, chromosome 4, surface marker (35kD glycoprotein); panepithelial glycoprotein 314; Protein 289A; Trop-1 protein; Tumor-associated calcium signal transducer 1
Gene Aliases: CD326; DIAR5; EGP; EGP-2; EGP314; EGP40; Ep-CAM; EPCAM; EpCAM1; ESA; GA733-2; gp40; HNPCC8; KS1/4; KSA; Ly74; M1S2; M4S1; MIC18; MK-1; Tacsd1; TACSTD1; TROP1