CD53 is a member of the tetraspanin family of hydrophobic membrane-spanning proteins. Tetraspanins form microdomains on the cell surface that can interact with many different proteins implicated in signaling forming vesicles leading to endosome and exosome formation. CD53 has no known extracellular ligand. The specific function of CD53 has not yet been defined, but CD53 has been shown to modulate cell adhesion, migration, cell proliferation, and survival. Ligation of CD53 with antibodies protects cells from apoptosis; this effect is mediated by phosphorylation and activation of Akt, increased levels of Bcl-Xl, decreasing the amount of Bax, and reducing caspase activation. In mesangial cells, CD53 ligation stimulates the induction of DNA synthesis via the MEK-ERK pathway. CD53...
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