The protein encoded by this gene is a cell-surface glycoprotein involved in cell-cell interactions, cell adhesion and migration. It is a receptor for hyaluronic acid (HA) and can also interact with other ligands, such as osteopontin, collagens, and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). This protein participates in a wide variety of cellular functions including lymphocyte activation, recirculation and homing, hematopoiesis, and tumor metastasis. Transcripts for this gene undergo complex alternative splicing that results in many functionally distinct isoforms, however, the full length nature of some of these variants has not been determined. Alternative splicing is the basis for the structural and functional diversity of this protein, and may be related to tumor metastasis.
CD44; CD44 molecule (Indian blood group); CD44 antigen (homing function and Indian blood group system) , MDU2, MDU3, MIC4; CD44 antigen; CD44R; chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan 8; CSPG8; HCELL; hematopoietic cell E and L selectin ligand; IN; MC56; Pgp1; epican; Hermes antigen; hyaluronate receptor; phagocytic glycoprotein 1; heparan sulfate proteoglycan; cell surface glycoprotein CD44; extracellular matrix receptor III; GP90 lymphocyte homing/adhesion receptor; hematopoietic cell E- and L-selectin ligand; homing function and Indian blood group system; LHR; MDU2; MDU3; MIC4; CDW44; HUTCH-I; ECMR-III; MGC10468