Mucins (MUC) are high-molecular-weight glycoproteins constituted by a protein backbone (apomucin) and carbohydrate side chains. The vast majority of mucin glycosylation is constituted by O-glycans which are linked to serine (Ser) or threonine (Thr) residues on the protein backbone, and, in fact, more than 50% of the mucin molecular mass is composed of carbohydrates. The primary functions of mucins are to hydrate, protect, and lubricate the epithelial surfaces within the human body.
There are two main classes of mucins: membrane-bound mucins, contributing to the composition of the cellular glycocalyx, and secreted mucins, contributing to the composition of the extracellular matrix or the mucous barrier that covers all epithelial surfaces in the human body, except the skin. Mucins share a common structural feature which is a tandem repeatdomain comprising a variable number of tandem repeats (VNTRs) of identical or highly similar sequences rich...
References and Further Reading
- Teixeira, A., David, L., Reis, C. A., Costa, J., & Sobrinho-Simões, M. (2002). Expression of mucins (MUC1, MUC2, MUC5AC, and MUC6) and type 1 Lewis antigens in cases with and without Helicobacter pylori colonization in metaplastic glands of the human stomach. The Journal of Pathology, 197, 37–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar