Thymus development depends on a complex series of interactions between thymocytes and the stromal component of the organ. Epithelial V-like antigen (EVA) is expressed in thymus epithelium and strongly downregulated by thymocyte developmental progression. This gene is expressed in the thymus and in several epithelial structures early in embryogenesis. It is highly homologous to the myelin protein zero and, in thymus-derived epithelial cell lines, is poorly soluble in nonionic detergents, strongly suggesting an association to the cytoskeleton. Its capacity to mediate cell adhesion through a homophilic interaction and its selective regulation by T cell maturation might imply the participation of EVA in the earliest phases of thymus organogenesis. The protein bears a characteristic V-type domain and two potential N-glycosylation sites in the extracellular domain\; a putative serine phosphorylation site for casein kinase 2 is also present in the cytoplasmic tail. Two transcript variants encoding the same protein have been found for this gene.