Mucin and Goblet Cell Function

  • Samuel B. Ho
  • Laurie L. Shekels


The intestine and colon are coated by a protective mucous gel. The mucous gel consists of a variety of large mucin glycoproteins, trefoil factors (TFF), defensins, secreted immunoglobulins (Ig), electrolytes, sloughed epithelial cells, phospholipids, commensal bacteria, and other components. These factors form a dynamic barrier that protects epithelial surfaces from toxins, harmful bacteria, parasites, and digestive chemicals. Mucous gel components are largely derived from the secretory products of goblet cells. The protective functions of goblet cell products make them an integral part of the innate immune response of the gut. This review will focus on recent insights into the function of intestinal goblet cells and their secretory products that contribute to the protective mucous layer.


Goblet Cell Mucin Gene Mucin Glycoprotein Intestinal Mucin Intestinal Trefoil Factor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel B. Ho
  • Laurie L. Shekels

There are no affiliations available

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