CD146 (MCAM) is an integral membrane glycoprotein belonging to the immunoglobulin superfamily. CD146 is expressed at cell-cell junctions in all endothelial cells, and has also been observed in other normal and malignant cell types. In addition to its recognized role as a calcium-independent cell adhesion molecule, CD146 may also act as a signal transduction molecule in the recruitment of Fyn kinase, and in the subsequent tyrosine-phosphorylation of intracellular proteins involved in actin cytoskeleton assembly. CD146 plays a role in cell adhesion, and in cohesion of the endothelial monolayer at intercellular junctions in vascular tissue. CD146 expression may allow melanoma cells to interact with cellular elements of the vascular system, thereby enhancing hematogeneous tumor spread. Further, CD146 could be an adhesion molecule active in neural crest cells during embryonic development. CD146 acts also as surface receptor that triggers tyrosine phosphorylation of FYN and PTK2, and a transient increase in the intracellular calcium concentration.
CD146; Cell surface glycoprotein MUC18; Cell surface glycoprotein P1H12; Gicerin; l-gicerin protein; melanoma adhesion molecule; Melanoma cell adhesion molecule; Melanoma-associated antigen A32; Melanoma-associated antigen MUC18; S-endo 1 endothelial-associated antigen