CD Markers

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

Revised: 16 November 2015, last major update February 2002

Copyright: (c) 2002-2015,, Inc.

PubMed Search: CD63 [title]

Definition / General
  • Also called NKI-C3 (J Natl Cancer Inst 1992;84:422), lysosomal membrane-associated glycoprotein 3, LAMP-3, melanoma associated antigen and ME491
  • Member of tetraspanin superfamily of integral membrane proteins - tetraspanins form lateral associations with integrins and may act as organizers of multimolecular networks that modulate integrin mediated signaling, cell morphology, motility and migration
  • Intracellular lysosomal / endosomal / granule protein, in Weibel-Palade bodies of endothelium and in azurophil granules of neutrophils (Am J Pathol 1994;144:1369)
  • Serves as adaptor protein that links its interaction partners to the cell’s endocytic machinery (Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2003;100:15560)
  • Marker of platelet activation that is transported to surface after activation; also modulates platelet spreading on immobilized fibrinogen (Thromb Haemost 2005;93:311)
  • Associated with early stages of melanoma progression (Cancer Res 1988;48:2955)
  • Deficiency associated with Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (OMIM #203300)
  • High pre-kidney transplant levels are associated with acute rejection (Transplant Proc 2003;35:1360)
  • Used for basophil activation tests (Allergy 2006;61:1084)
  • CD63 pathway from host multivesicular bodies provides essential lipids to Chlamydia to maintain productive intracellular infection (J Cell Sci 2006;119:350)
Uses by Pathologists
  • Marker of melanoma (although non-specific) and melanocytic tumors
  • May be useful for other tumors (see below)
Micro Images
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Cellular neurothekeoma, FC

Positive Staining - Normal
  • Activated platelets, endothelium, fibroblasts, macrophages, mast cells and osteoclasts
  • Weakly expressed on B and T cells and granulocytes
  • Also bronchial glands, neural tissue (brain white matter and peripheral nerves), nevi, salivary glands, smooth muscle and synovial lining cells
Positive Staining - Disease
Negative Staining
  • Epithelioid cell histiocytoma, Langerhans cell histiocytosis