CD10 is a remarkable member of the major class of widely expressed cell surface proteins, endopeptidases. First identified in leukemia as a tumor-specific antigen (common acute lymphoblastic leukemia antigen), CD10 has become largely used in cancer diagnosis. However, its function in oncogenesis remains unclear. We previously identified CD10 as a tool to access sphere-forming cells and showed its involvement in mammary stem cell (SC) regulation. We further illustrated that its enzymatic activity is involved, through signaling peptides, in SC maintenance. Therefore, CD10 is not only a cell surface marker in normal and malignant contexts but also affects the extracellular environment and plays a key role in regulation of a number of biological functions and likely in SC. In tumors, the "niche" favors the survival of sheltered cancer SC whose eradication has become the new challenge in oncology. This highlights the importance of understanding the role of CD10 in cancer SC. We will review the characteristics, main functions, and mechanism of action of CD10. Finally, we will review its clinical use and involvement in cancer.
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