Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am Rev Respir Dis. 1991 Sep;144(3 Pt 2):S10-4.

The structure of human intestinal apomucins.

Author information

Gastrointestinal Research Laboratory, Veterans Administration Medical Center, San Francisco, California.


Human intestinal mucins are large glycoconjugates (greater than 1,000,000 D) that coat the epithelium, serving to lubricate and protect. Apart from this physiologic function, mucins are important in that they are frequently altered in cancer; thus, they have potential usefulness as tumor markers. We have isolated mucins from human LS174T colon cancer cells and small intestine, deglycosylated these highly purified glycoconjugates, produced polyclonal antibodies to the apomucins, and used these antibodies to isolate two different types of cDNA clones that encode different apomucins. The first class of cDNA clones was isolated using antibodies to deglycosylated LS174T mucin. These cDNA, designated SMUC or MUC2, contain 69 nucleotide tandem repeats that encode a repetitive peptide that is extremely rich in threonine and proline. Northern blots using MUC2 cDNA as probes exhibit large (7,600 bases) and polydisperse hybridization bands. This gene is polymorphic within the human population and is located on chromosome 11. The second class of cDNA was isolated using antibodies to deglycosylated small intestinal mucin. These cDNA, designated SIB or MUC3, have 51 nucleotide tandem repeats that encode a threonine- and serine-rich repetitive peptide. This mucin also is encoded by a large, polydisperse message, but it is clearly distinct from MUC2 as it is located on chromosome 7. Both the MUC2 and MUC3 mucins are expressed in colonic tumors; however, the level of their expression is quite variable. Thus, at least two mucins are expressed by the human gastrointestinal tract. Elucidation of the regulation of these two genes will be important in understanding the physiology and pathophysiology of the human intestine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon
    Loading ...
    Support Center