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  • Carcinoembryonic antigen is a glycoprotein involved in cell adhesion. It is normally produced in gastrointestinal tissue during fetal development, but the production of CEA stops before birth. Therefore, it is usually present only at very low levels in the blood of healthy adults. However, the serum levels are raised in some types of cancer, which means that it can be used as a tumor marker in clinical tests. Serum levels can also be elevated in heavy smokers. CEA is a glycosyl phosphatidyl inositol cell surface anchored glycoprotein whose specialized sialofucosylated glycoforms serve as functional colon carcinoma L-selectin and E-selectin ligands, which may be critical to the metastatic dissemination of colon carcinoma cells. Wikipedia

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