Cell junctions in the nephron are highly specialized to perform specific and distinct filtration and reabsorption functions. The mature kidney forms complex cell junctions including slit diaphragms that prevent the passage of serum proteins into the filtrate, and tubule cell junctions that regulate specific paracellular ion reuptake. We have investigated the expression of TM4SF10 (Trans-Membrane tetra(4)-Span Family 10) in mouse kidneys. TM4SF10 is the vertebrate orthologue of Caenorhabditis elegans VAB-9, a tetraspan adherens junction protein in the PMP22/EMP/Claudin family of proteins. We found that TM4SF10 localizes at the basal-most region of podocyte precursors before the capillary loop stage, at some tubule precursors, and at the ureteric bud junction with S-shaped bodies. Overall expression of TM4SF10 peaked at postnatal day 4 and was virtually absent in adult kidneys. The very limited expression of TM4SF10 protein that persisted into adulthood was restricted to a few tubule segments but remained localized to the basal region of lateral membranes. In undifferentiated cultured podocytes, TM4SF10 localized to the perinuclear region and translocated to the cell membrane after Cadherin appearance at cell–cell contacts. TM4SF10 colocalized with ZO1 and p120ctn in undifferentiated confluent podocytes and also colocalized with the tips of actin filaments at cell contacts. Upon differentiation of cultured podocytes, TM4SF10 protein disappeared from cell contacts and expression ceased. These results suggest that TM4SF10 functions during differentiation of podocytes and may participate in the maturation of cell junctions from simple adherens junctions to elaborate slit diaphragms. TM4SF10 may define a new class of Claudin-like proteins that function during junctional development. Developmental Dynamics 236:596–605, 2007. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.