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CD146, also known as melanoma cell adhesion molecule (MCAM) or MUC18, originally identified as a biomarker of melanoma progression, is a transmembrane glycoprotein belonging to the immunoglobulin (Ig) superfamily (PMID: 8378324). Structurally, it consists of five Ig domains, a transmembrane domain, and a cytoplasmic region. In normal adult tissue, CD146 is primarily expressed by vascular endothelium and smooth muscle. CD146 is a key cell adhesion protein in vascular endothelial cell activity and angiogenesis, and has been used as marker of circulating endothelium cells (CECs) (PMID: 19356677).