CD133, also known as PROM1 and Prominin 1, is a pentaspan transmembrane glycoprotein that belongs to the prominin family. It localizes to membrane protrusions and is often expressed on adult stem cells. CD133 is known to play a role in maintaining stem cell properties by suppressing differentiation. CD133 binds cholesterol in cholesterol-containing plasma membrane microdomains. It is proposed to play a role in apical plasma membrane organization of epithelial cells. CD133 is also involved in regulation of MAPK and Akt signaling pathways. Mutations in PROM1 gene have been shown to result in retinitis pigmentosa and Stargardt disease. PROM1 gene is expressed from at least five alternative promoters that are expressed in a tissue-dependent manner. Expression of this gene is also associated with several types of cancer.
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