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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2013;777:55-71. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4614-5894-4_4.

Prominent role of prominin in the retina.

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Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Pfotenhauerstr. 108, 01307, Dresden, Germany.


Prominin molecules represent a new family of pentaspan membrane glycoproteins expressed throughout the animal kingdom. The name originates from its localization on membrane protrusion, such as microvilli, filopodia, lamellipodia, and microspikes. Following the original description in mouse and human, representative prominin members were found in fish (e.g., Danio rerio), amphibian (Ambystoma mexicanum, Xenopus laevis), worm (Caenorhabditis elegans), and flies (Drosophila melanogaster). Mammalian prominin-1 was identified as a marker of somatic and cancer stem cells and plays an essential role in the visual system, which contributed to increased interest of the medical field in this molecule. Here we summarize recent data from various fields, including Drosophila, which will aid to our understanding of its still elusive function.

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