E-cadherin is a Ca(2+)-dependent cell adhesion molecule involved in cell-cell interaction. In its normal physiological function it plays an important role in embryonic development and tissue morphogenesis. Recent studies have shown that in cancer development E-cadherin can act as a suppressor of invasion. Indeed, in several kinds of carcinomas allelic loss of the E-cadherin/Uvomorulin locus and decreased E-cadherin expression have been described. The importance of E-cadherin in human cancer development may be substantiated by molecular analysis of the E-cadherin transcript. Therefore, we isolated and characterized the human E-cadherin cDNA. Comparison of the nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences revealed that the human E-cadherin is highly homologous to the mouse E-cadherin (uvomorulin) and to other members of the cadherin family.