3 years ago

The biology of mucus: Composition, synthesis and organization

The biology of mucus: Composition, synthesis and organization
In this review we discuss mucus, the viscoelastic secretion from goblet or mucous producing cells that lines the epithelial surfaces of all organs exposed to the external world. Mucus is a complex aqueous fluid that owes its viscoelastic, lubricating and hydration properties to the glycoprotein mucin combined with electrolytes, lipids and other smaller proteins. Electron microscopy of mucosal surfaces reveals a highly convoluted surface with a network of fibers and pores of varying sizes. The major structural and functional component, mucin is a complex glycoprotein coded by about 20 mucin genes which produce a protein backbone having multiple tandem repeats of Serine, Threonine (ST repeats) where oligosaccharides are covalently O-linked. The N- and C-terminals of this apoprotein contain other domains with little or no glycosylation but rich in cysteines leading to dimerization and further multimerization via S-S bonds. The synthesis of this complex protein starts in the endoplasmic reticulum with the formation of the apoprotein and is further modified via glycosylation in the cis and medial golgi and packaged into mucin granules via Ca2+ bridging of the negative charges on the oligosaccharide brush in the trans golgi. The mucin granules fuse with the plasma membrane of the secretory cells and following activation by signaling molecules release Ca2+ and undergo a dramatic change in volume due to hydration of the highly negatively charged polymer brush leading to exocytosis from the cells and forming the mucus layer. The rheological properties of mucus and its active component mucin and its mucoadhesivity are briefly discussed in light of their importance to mucosal drug delivery.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0169409X17302041

You might also like
Never Miss Important Research

Researcher is an app designed by academics, for academics. Create a personalised feed in two minutes.
Choose from over 15,000 academics journals covering ten research areas then let Researcher deliver you papers tailored to your interests each day.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.