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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

MUC18/MCAM (CD146), an activation antigen of human T lymphocytes.

Extravasation and tissue infiltration of leukocytes and metastatic tumor cells require the regulated expression and function of adhesive and pro-proteolytic surface molecules. We demonstrate here that human T cells, upon activation, neo-express the melanoma metastasis-associated surface molecule MUC18/melanoma cell adhesion molecule (MCAM). Expression of MUC18/MCAM (CD146) on T cells could be identified with two mAbs (541-10B2 and 541-2E5) obtained after immunization with HUT102 T cells and found to react with activated T cells. The specificity of our mAbs for MUC18/MCAM (CD146) was revealed by 1) definition of the appropriate molecular mass of approximately 110 kDa unreduced and 120 kDa reduced, 2) reactivity of mAbs with MUC18/MCAM (CD146) cDNA-transfected mouse L cells, 3) conclusive crosswise immunoblotting experiments with MUC18/MCAM (CD146)-specific mAbs, and 4) N-terminal amino acid sequencing of precipitated protein. In vitro activation by PHA caused neo-expression of MUC18/MCAM (CD146) on peripheral blood T cells within 1 day of stimulation, reaching a maximum on day 3. In vivo expression of MUC18/MCAM (CD146) was confirmed on CD3+ T cells infiltrating delayed-type hypersensitivity lesions of the skin, on synovial fluid T cells of rheumatoid arthritis patients, and on distinct T leukemia cells. MUC18/MCAM (CD146) cell surface expression on activated T cells is mirrored by the presence of specific mRNA. Leukocytes of healthy donors do not show significant MUC18/MCAM (CD146) expression. The finding that MUC18/MCAM (CD146) is also expressed on activated T cells might suggest that this adhesion molecule is involved in the extravasation and/or homing of activated T cells.[1]


  1. MUC18/MCAM (CD146), an activation antigen of human T lymphocytes. Pickl, W.F., Majdic, O., Fischer, G.F., Petzelbauer, P., Faé, I., Waclavicek, M., Stöckl, J., Scheinecker, C., Vidicki, T., Aschauer, H., Johnson, J.P., Knapp, W. J. Immunol. (1997) [Pubmed]
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