This gene encodes a type II classical cadherin from the cadherin superfamily, integral membrane proteins that mediate calcium-dependent cell-cell adhesion. Mature cadherin proteins are composed of a large N-terminal extracellular domain, a single membrane-spanning domain, and a small, highly conserved C-terminal cytoplasmic domain. The extracellular domain consists of 5 subdomains, each containing a cadherin motif, and appears to determine the specificity of the protein's homophilic cell adhesion activity. Type II (atypical) cadherins are defined based on their lack of a HAV cell adhesion recognition sequence specific to type I cadherins. This particular cadherin is expressed in brain and is putatively involved in synaptic adhesion, axon outgrowth and guidance.
Disruptions of CDH8 in humans have been implicated in autism.
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