14 September 1998
The proteins MUC18 and Mader have been identified as markers of tumor progression in melanoma cells. MUC18, also known as MCAM (melanoma cell adhesion molecule) and as CD146 (endothelial antigen), is a cell adhesion molecule belonging to the immunoglobulin superfamily. Mader is a transcriptional regulator shown to negatively regulate EGR-1. As it is known that neoplastic cells of neuroectodermal origin frequently express neuron-specific molecules, we studied whether these melanoma-associated antigens are found in normal CNS tissue. We investigated the expression of MUC18/MCAM and Mader in adult human post mortem CNS tissue by immunohistochemistry, immunoblot and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Our results show that Mader is preferentially expressed on neurons and glial cells and that the adhesion protein MUC18/MCAM is mainly expressed on vasculature within the CNS. These observations may have important implications for further studies investigating their possible roles in cell adhesion and proliferation control within the CNS.