Human malignant melanoma is a common primary malignant cutaneous tumour derived from transformed epidermal melanocytes. Patients with melanoma have a high rate of mortality due to resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs, a major obstacle to a successful treatment. Several reports have suggested that CD146 plays an important role as a signalling molecule in human melanoma. This role includes CD146 as a participant in inflammation, differentiation, adhesion, tumourigenicity, metastasis, invasion and angiogenesis among other processes, which suggests that this molecule promotes the progression of human melanoma as a multifaceted regulator. In this article, we explore the effects and corresponding mechanisms with respect to the role of CD146/MUC18 in the promotion of human melanoma progression. Collectively, the studies indicated that targeting CD146, because it is a suitable marker of poor patient outcome, might be useful in the design of future strategies for the prevention and treatment of human melanoma.