The KAI1/CD82 tetraspanin is a widely expressed cell surface molecule thought to organize diverse cellular signaling processes. KAI1/CD82 suppresses metastasis but not tumorigenicity, establishing it as one of a class of metastasis suppressor genes. In order to further assess its functions, we have characterized the phenotypic properties of Kai1/Cd82 deleted mice, including viability, fertility, lymphocyte composition, blood chemistry and tissue histopathology, and of their wild-type and heterozygote littermates. Interestingly, Kai1/Cd82−/− showed no obvious genotype associated defects in any of these processes and displayed no genotype associated histopathologic abnormalities after 12 or 18 months of life. Expression profiles of non-immortal, wild-type and Kai1/Cd82−/− mouse embryo fibroblast (MEFs) indicated distinct sex-specific and genotype-specific profiles. These data identify 191 and 1,271 differentially expressed transcripts (by twofold at P < 0.01) based on Kai1/CD82 genotype status in female and male MEFs, respectively. Differentially expressed genes in male MEFs were surprisingly enriched for cell division related processes, suggesting that Kai1/Cd82 may functionally affect these processes. This suggests that Kai/Cd82 has an unappreciated role in the early establishment of proliferation and division when challenged with a new environment that might play a role in adaptability to new metastatic sites. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.