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MUCs

Monday 31 May 2004

Mucins represent a heterogeneous group of high-glycosylated and high-molecular-weight glycoproteins encoded by several mucin genes clustered on chromosome 11p15.5, basically consisting of a common proteic backbone (apomucin) linked to oligosaccharides.

They are the major structural component of mucus and are widely expressed by most human epithelial tissues.

Types

- gel-forming mucins

  • MUC2 and MUC5AC represent a subset of gel-forming mucins: the former is an intestinal-type secretory mucin mainly expressed in goblet cells of normal bowel and in intestinal adenocarcinoma, but also in intestinal metaplasia, whereas the latter is mainly observed in surface mucous cells of the gastric mucosa and respiratory epithelium.

Members

MUC1 MUC2 MUC3 MUC4 MUC5A MUC5B MUC5C
MUC6 MUC7 MUC8 MUC9 MUC10 MUC11 MUC12

Osmosensing (#17981467#)

The molecular mechanisms required for sensing high osmolarity in the extracellular environment are not well defined in eukaryotes.

Yeast Msb2 and Hkr1, which are related to mammalian mucins, are excellent candidates for sensing osmostress and for activating the HOG stress-activated protein kinase pathway involved in osmostress adaptation.

Transmembrane mucins activate several signaling cascades in mammals and could therefore be important for sensing osmotic imbalances in higher eukaryotes.

Pathology

References

- de Nadal E, Real FX, Posas F. Mucins, osmosensors in eukaryotic cells? Trends Cell Biol. 2007 Dec;17(12):571-4. PMID: #17981467#

- Hollingsworth MA, Swanson BJ. Mucins in cancer: protection and control of the cell surface. Nat Rev Cancer. 2004 Jan;4(1):45-60. PMID: #14681689#