Part of the TCR-CD3 complex present on T-lymphocyte cell surface that plays an essential role in adaptive immune response. When antigen presenting cells (APCs) activate T-cell receptor (TCR), TCR-mediated signals are transmitted across the cell membrane by the CD3 chains CD3D, CD3E, CD3G and CD3Z. All CD3 chains contain immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motifs (ITAMs) in their cytoplasmic domain. Upon TCR engagement, these motifs become phosphorylated by Src family protein tyrosine kinases LCK and FYN, resulting in the activation of downstream signaling pathways. In addition of this role of signal transduction in T-cell activation, CD3E plays an essential role in correct T-cell development. Initiates the TCR-CD3 complex assembly by forming the two heterodimers CD3D/CD3E and CD3G/CD3E. Participates also in internalization and cell surface down-regulation of TCR-CD3 complexes via endocytosis sequences present in CD3E cytosolic region.