Basigin is a widely expressed transmembrane glycoprotein that belongs to the Ig superfamily and is highly enriched on the surface of epithelial cells. Basigin is involved in intercellular interactions involved in various immunologic phenomena, differentiation, and development, but a major function of basigin is stimulation of synthesis of several matrix metalloproteinases. Basigin also induces angiogenesis via stimulation of VEGF production.
Basigin has an extracellular region with two Ig-like domains of which the N-term Ig-like domain is involved in interactions. It undergoes interactions between basigin molecules on opposing cells or on neighbouring cells. It also interacts with a variety of other proteins like caveolin-1, cyclophilins, integrins and annexin II that play important roles in cell proliferation, energy metabolism, migration, adhesion and motion, especially in cancer metastasis.