The Role of the Cell Surface Mucin MUC1 as a Barrier to Infection and Regulator of Inflammation

The Role of the Cell Surface Mucin MUC1 as a Barrier to Infection and Regulator of Inflammation Poshmaal Dhar1 and Julie McAuley2* 1Faculty of Health, School of Medicine, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC, Australia 2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Peter Doherty Institute, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia The family of cell surface (cs-) mucins are constitutively expressed at the cell surface by nearly all epithelial cells, beneath the gel-mucin layer. All cs-mucin family members have structural features that enable them to act as a releasable decoy barrier to mucosal pathogens, by providing ligands for pathogen binding and the ability to shed the bound extracellular domain. Due to the towering structure of cs-mucins at the surface, binding of mucosal pathogens can also sterically block binding to underlying cellular receptors. The cytoplasmic tail domain of cs-mucins are capable of initiating signal transduction cascades and due to their conservation across species, may play an important biological role in cellular signaling. MUC1 is one of the most extensively studied of the cs-mucin family. With respect to its physiological function in the mucosal environment, MUC1 has been demonstrated to play a dynamic role in protection of the host from infection by a wide variety of pathogens and to regulate inflammatory responses to infection. This review briefly summarizes the current knowledge and new findings regarding the structural features re...
Source: Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology - Category: Microbiology Source Type: research

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