Structural component of specialized membrane microdomains known as tetraspanin-enriched microdomains (TERMs), which act as platforms for receptor clustering and signaling. Essential for trafficking and compartmentalization of CD19 receptor on the surface of activated B cells. Upon initial encounter with microbial pathogens, enables the assembly of CD19-CR2/CD21 and B cell receptor (BCR) complexes at signaling TERMs, lowering the threshold dose of antigen required to trigger B cell clonal expansion and antibody production. In T cells, facilitates the localization of CD247/CD3 zeta at antigen-induced synapses with B cells, providing for costimulation and polarization toward T helper type 2 phenotype. Present in MHC class II compartments, may also play a role in antigen presentation. Can act both as positive and negative regulator of homotypic or heterotypic cell-cell fusion processes. Positively regulates sperm-egg fusion and may be involved in acrosome reaction. In myoblasts, associates with CD9 and PTGFRN and inhibits myotube fusion during muscle regeneration. In macrophages, associates with CD9 and beta-1 and beta-2 integrins, and prevents macrophage fusion into multinucleated giant cells specialized in ingesting complement-opsonized large particles. Also prevents the fusion of mononuclear cell progenitors into osteoclasts in charge of bone resorption. May regulate the compartmentalization of enzymatic activities. In T cells, defines the subcellular localization of dNTPase SAMHD1 and permits its degradation by the proteasome, thereby controlling intracellular dNTP levels. Also involved in cell adhesion and motility. Positively regulates integrin-mediated adhesion of macrophages, particularly relevant for the inflammatory response in the lung.; (Microbial infection) Acts as a receptor for hepatitis C virus (HCV) in hepatocytes. Association with CLDN1 and the CLDN1-CD81 receptor complex is essential for HCV entry into host cell.; (Microbial infection) Involved in SAMHD1-dependent restriction of HIV-1 replication. May support early replication of both R5- and X4-tropic HIV-1 viruses in T cells, likely via proteasome-dependent degradation of SAMHD1.; (Microbial infection) Specifically required for Plasmodium falciparum infectivity of hepatocytes, controlling sporozoite entry into hepatocytes via the parasitophorous vacuole and subsequent parasite differentiation to exoerythrocytic forms.