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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017 Oct 21;492(3):331-337. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2017.08.113. Epub 2017 Aug 30.

The normal trachea is cleaned by MUC5B mucin bundles from the submucosal glands coated with the MUC5AC mucin.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Gothenburg, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden.
2
Institute of Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, Gene Center, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Feodor-Lynen-Straße 25, 81377 Munich, Germany.
3
Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Gothenburg, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden; Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, and School of Technology and Health, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Novum, SE-141 57 Huddinge, Sweden.
4
Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.
5
The Cystic Fibrosis Research Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, United States.
6
Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, and School of Technology and Health, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Novum, SE-141 57 Huddinge, Sweden.
7
Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Gothenburg, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden. Electronic address: gunnar.hansson@medkem.gu.se.

Abstract

To understand the mucociliary clearance system, mucins were visualized by light, confocal and electron microscopy, and mucus was stained by Alcian blue and tracked by video microscopy on tracheal explants of newborn piglets. We observed long linear mucus bundles that appeared at the submucosal gland openings and were transported cephalically. The mucus bundles were shown by mass spectrometry and immunostaining to have a core made of MUC5B mucin and were coated with MUC5AC mucin produced by surface goblet cells. The transport speed of the bundles was slower than the airway surface liquid flow. We suggest that the goblet cell MUC5AC mucin anchors the mucus bundles and thus controls their transport. Normal clearance of the respiratory tree of pigs and humans, both rich in submucosal glands, is performed by thick and long mucus bundles.

KEYWORDS:

Airway surface liquid; Lung; MUC5AC; Mucus; Respiratory tract

PMID:
28859985
PMCID:
PMC5596833
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbrc.2017.08.113
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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