The cluster of differentiation (CD) system is commonly used as cell markers in Immunophenotyping. Different kinds of cells in the immune system can be identified through the surface CD molecules associating with the immune function of the cell. There are more than 320 CD unique clusters and subclusters have been identified. Some of the CD molecules serve as receptors or ligands important to the cell through initiating a signal cascade which then alters the behavior of the cell. Some CD proteins do not take part in the cell signal process but have other functions such as cell adhesion. The cluster of differentiation 10 (CD10), also known as Neprilysin and neutral endopeptidase, is a member of the CD system. CD10 is a zinc-dependent metalloprotease enzyme that had the function to degrade some small secreted peptides such as the amyloid beta-peptide. It exists as a membrane-bound protein and has a high concentration in kidney and lung tissues. Mutations in the CD10 gene can induce the familial forms of Alzheimer's disease, providing strong evidence for the protein's association with the Alzheimer's disease process. CD10 is also associated with other biochemical processes.
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