CD Markers

Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 6 January 2016, last major update August 2013

Copyright: (c) 2003-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: CD146[title]
Cite this page: CD146. website. Accessed October 19th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Aka melanoma cell adhesion molecule (MEL-CAM), cell surface glycoprotein MUC18
  • May be a neural crest cell adhesion molecule during embryogenesis
  • Associated with tumor progression and the development of metastasis in human malignant melanoma
  • Sensitive but nonspecific marker of desmoplastic/spindle cell melanoma; use if suggestive histology, S100 positive, melanoma markers otherwise negative (Am J Surg Pathol 2001;25:58)
  • Expression is membranous
Positive staining - normal
  • Vascular smooth muscle, endothelium, intermediate trophoblast in exaggerated placental sites and placental site trophoblastic tumors (Hum Pathol 1999;30:687), subpopulation of T cells, endothelium, smooth muscle, Schwann cells
Positive staining - malignant
  • Clear cell sarcoma (90%)
  • Leiomyosarcomas (almost all)
  • Melanoma (desmoplastic-84%, epithelioid melanomas-100%, advanced primary tumors and metastatic tumors)
  • Melanotic schwannoma (100%)
  • MPNST (27%), neurofibroma (40%)
  • Prostatic adenocarcinoma and high grade PIN
  • Squamous cell carcinomas (some)
  • Vascular sarcomas (almost all)
Negative staining
  • Normal melanocytes, melanocytic nevi, cellular blue nevus, thin primary melanomas, placental site nodules (or focal), epithelioid trophoblastic tumors (or focal), cytotrophoblast, atypical fibroxanthoma