The use of physical and chemical methods to study mucins and mucin systems at different levels of organization: molecular shape, aggregation, polymerization, gelation and viscosity, and gel permeability, all of which underlie physiological functions.
The peptide cores of these molecules undergo posttranslational glycosylation and commonly contain 60–80% of their dry weight as carbohydrate. The glycan chains clustered in the variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) domains represent a structural “fingerprint” of the mucins (see also Glycosidic Linkages). As polyanions, mucins have negative ζ-potential at pH = 7 and neutral at pH ≈ 2. Mature epithelial mucins divide into two groups: secreted and apical membrane associated (transmembrane, membrane-bound mucins) (Carlstedt et al. 1985). Complex pH-sensitive networks are formed by...
- Schutte A, Ermund A, Becker-Pauly C, Johansson ME, Rodriguez-Pineiro AM, Backhed F, Muller S, Lottaz D, Bond JS, Hansson GC (2014) Microbial-induced meprin beta cleavage in MUC2 mucin and a functional CFTR channel are required to release anchored small intestinal mucus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111(34):12396–12401CrossRefGoogle Scholar