This gene is overexpressed in breast cancer and squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck. The encoded protein is localized in the cytoplasm and in areas of the cell-substratum contacts. This gene has two roles: (1) regulating the interactions between components of adherens-type junctions and (2) organizing the cytoskeleton and cell adhesion structures of epithelia and carcinoma cells. During apoptosis, the encoded protein is degraded in a caspase-dependent manner. The aberrant regulation of this gene contributes to tumor cell invasion and metastasis. Three splice variants that encode different isoforms have been identified for this gene.