Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 72, Issue 23, pp 4475–4500 | Cite as

MUC1 (CD227): a multi-tasked molecule

  • Vasso Apostolopoulos
  • Lily Stojanovska
  • Sharron E. Gargosky


Mucin 1 (MUC1 [CD227]) is a high-molecular weight (>400 kDa), type I membrane-tethered glycoprotein that is expressed on epithelial cells and extends far above the glycocalyx. MUC1 is overexpressed and aberrantly glycosylated in adenocarcinomas and in hematological malignancies. As a result, MUC1 has been a target for tumor immunotherapeutic studies in mice and in humans. MUC1 has been shown to have anti-adhesive and immunosuppressive properties, protects against infections, and is involved in the oncogenic process as well as in cell signaling. In addition, MUC1 plays a key role in the reproductive tract, in the immune system (affecting dendritic cells, monocytes, T cells, and B cells), and in chronic inflammatory diseases. Evidence for all of these roles for MUC1 is discussed herein and demonstrates that MUC1 is truly a multitasked molecule.


MUC1 CD227 PEM EMA MUC1 isoforms MUC1 expression MUC1 structure MUC1 and disease MUC1 and pathogens MUC1 and cancer 



Anterior gradient 2


Anaplastic lymphoma kinase

C. jejeni

Campylobacter jejeni


Cancer antigen


Cancer-associated serum antigen


Cluster of differentiation


Carcinoembryonic antigen


Cytotoxic T lymphocyte


Dendritic cell


Epidermal growth factor receptor


Fibroblast growth factor


N-acetyl galactosamine


N-acetyl glucosamine

H. pylori

Helicobacter pylori


Human leukocyte antigen


Human milk fat globule


Heat shock protein


Inflammatory bowel disease


Intercellular adhesion molecule 1






Monoclonal antibody


Myelin-associated glycoprotein


Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue


Murine adenovirus type 1


Mucin-like carcinoma-associated antigen


Myeloid-derived suppressor cell


Macrophage galactose lectin


Major histocompatibility complex


Mammary serum antigen


Human mucin 1


Other species mucin 1


Natural killer


Nuclear magnetic resonance


Ovarian serum antigen

P. aeruginosa

Pseudomonas aeruginosa


Respiratory syncytial virus


Sea urchin sperm protein-enterokinase-agrin


Small interfering RNA

TF or T



Transforming growth factor


T helper


Toll-like receptor


Tumor necrosis factor


Monosaccharide of TF


Sialylated Tn


Vascular endothelial growth factor


Variable number of tandem repeats



The authors would like to thank Prima Biomed Ltd. for their helpful discussions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vasso Apostolopoulos
    • 1
  • Lily Stojanovska
    • 1
  • Sharron E. Gargosky
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Chronic Disease, College of Health and BiomedicineVictoria UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Prima BioMed LtdSydneyAustralia

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