The protein encoded by this gene is a type I transmembrane protein, belonging to the CD2 subfamily of the immunoglobulin superfamily. This encoded protein is expressed on Natural killer (NK), T, and B lymphocytes. It undergoes tyrosine phosphorylation and associates with the Src homology 2 domain-containing protein (SH2D1A) as well as with SH2 domain-containing phosphatases (SHPs). It functions as a coreceptor in the process of NK cell activation. It can also mediate inhibitory signals in NK cells from X-linked lymphoproliferative patients. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms.