Mediates homophilic cell-cell adhesion in a Ca(2+)-independent manner. Also mediates heterophilic cell-cell adhesion with CADM3 and PVRL3 in a Ca(2+)-independent manner. Acts as a tumor suppressor in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. Interaction with CRTAM promotes natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) secretion by CD8+ cells in vitro as well as NK cell-mediated rejection of tumors expressing CADM3 in vivo. May contribute to the less invasive phenotypes of lepidic growth tumor cells. In mast cells, may mediate attachment to and promote communication with nerves. CADM1, together with MITF, is essential for development and survival of mast cells in vivo. Acts as a synaptic cell adhesion molecule and plays a role in the formation of dendritic spines and in synapse assembly (By similarity). May be involved in neuronal migration, axon growth, pathfinding, and fasciculation on the axons of differentiating neurons. May play diverse roles in the spermatogenesis including in the adhesion of spermatocytes and spermatids to Sertoli cells and for their normal differentiation into mature spermatozoa.