Monday 31 May 2004
Definition: Mucins (MUCs) 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.
- 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.
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.
MUC4 specific expression in some tumors
de Nadal E, Real FX, Posas F. Mucins, osmosensors in eukaryotic cells? Trends Cell Biol. 2007 Dec;17(12):571-4. PMID: 17981467