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Annu Rev Physiol. 2008;70:459-86.

Structure and function of the polymeric mucins in airways mucus.

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Wellcome Trust Center for Cell Matrix Research, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PT, United Kingdom.


The airways mucus gel performs a critical function in defending the respiratory tract against pathogenic and environmental challenges. In normal physiology, the secreted mucins, in particular the polymeric mucins MUC5AC and MUC5B, provide the organizing framework of the airways mucus gel and are major contributors to its rheological properties. However, overproduction of mucins is an important factor in the morbidity and mortality of chronic airways disease (e.g., asthma, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The roles of these enormous, multifunctional, O-linked glycoproteins in health and disease are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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