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Bioessays. 1992 Sep;14(9):619-25.

Mucins: structure, function, and associations with malignancy.

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Medical Innovations Ltd., Labrador, Queensland, Australia.


Mucins are a family of high molecular weight, highly glycosylated glycoproteins found in the apical cell membrane of human epithelial cells from the mammary gland, salivary gland, digestive tract, respiratory tract, kidney, bladder, prostate, uterus and rete testis. Increased synthesis of the core protein and alterations in the carbohydrates attached to these glycoproteins are believed to play important roles in the function and proliferation of tumour cells. Aberrant glycosylation leads not only to the production of novel carbohydrate structures, but also to the exposure of the core peptide. These novel epitopes may be candidates for diagnosis or therapy, by using either synthetic mucin fragments as vaccines, or monoclonal antibody-based reagents which detect these structures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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