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Wednesday 28 October 2020



Definition : Mucins are a family of high molecular weight, heavily glycosylated proteins (glycoconjugates) produced by epithelial tissues in most animals.

Mucins’ key characteristic is their ability to form gels; therefore they are a key component in most gel-like secretions, serving functions from lubrication to cell signalling to forming chemical barriers.

They often take an inhibitory role.

Some mucins are associated with controlling mineralization, including nacre formation in mollusks, calcification in echinoderms and bone formation in vertebrates.

They bind to pathogens as part of the immune system. Overexpression of the mucin proteins, especially MUC1, is associated with many types of cancer.

They are large, highly glycosylated proteins with repeat tandem domains rich in serine and threonine sites for O-glycosylation.

They contain glyco-conjugates (mucoproteins , glycoproteins , glycosaminoglycans , glycolipids ) with high content of sialic acid (N-acyl derivative of neuraminic acid) or sulfated polysaccharide.