Detected in endothelial cells in vascular tissue throughout the body. May appear at the surface of neural crest cells during their embryonic migration. Appears to be limited to vascular smooth muscle in normal adult tissues. Associated with tumor progression and the development of metastasis in human malignant melanoma. Expressed most strongly on metastatic lesions and advanced primary tumors and is only rarely detected in benign melanocytic nevi and thin primary melanomas with a low probability of metastasis.
CD146 is a cell surface glycoprotein, originally identified as a melanoma antigen, whose expression is associated with tumor progression and the development of metastatic potential. Overexpression of CD146 in breast carcinoma cells results in a more cohesive cell growth and in the formation of smaller tumors in nude mice. During implantation and placentation, CD146 is expressed by the intermediate trophoblast in the placental site and binds to its putative receptor in uterine smooth muscle cells thus limiting trophoblastic invasion in the myometrium.
Just like the interactions between antigens and antibodies, the higher the affinity between you and us the better.