EPCAM(redirected from membrane component, chromosome 4, surface marker)
EPCAMA gene on chromosome 2p21 that encodes a carcinoma-associated antigen expressed on most normal epithelial cells and gastrointestinal carcinomas, which functions as a homotypic calcium-independent cell adhesion molecule. EPCAM is thought to function as a relay molecule between intestinal epithelial cells and intraepithelial lymphocytes at the mucosa, providing an immune barrier to infection. It is of interest in oncology as a target for cancer immunotherapy. It upregulates expression of FABP5, MYC and cyclins A and E.
Defects in EPCAM cause congenital tufting enteropathy (diarrhoea type 5).