This gene is a type II classical cadherin from the cadherin superfamily. The encoded membrane protein is a calcium dependent cell-cell adhesion glycoprotein comprised of five extracellular cadherin repeats, a transmembrane region and a highly conserved cytoplasmic tail. Type II (atypical) cadherins are defined based on their lack of a HAV cell adhesion recognition sequence specific to type I cadherins. Cadherins mediate cell-cell binding in a homophilic manner, contributing to the sorting of heterogeneous cell types and the maintenance of orderly structures. Alternative splicing in the 5' UTR of this gene yields variant transcripts encoding the same protein.