It is not clear whether this alteration is due to decreased MUC16 expression, altered glycosylation or its shedding rate

It is not clear whether this alteration is due to decreased MUC16 expression, altered glycosylation or its shedding rate. mucins bound to serial dilutions of tears in a linear fashion (r2 0.9), indicating the feasibility of semi-quantitation. MUC5AC in tear fluid had Dodecanoylcarnitine an increased electrophoretic mobility compared to MUC5AC isolated from conjunctival tissue. This study provides clear evidence that the mucin component of tears is a mixture of secreted and shed membrane-associated mucins, and for the first time demonstrates MUC16 in tear fluid. Immunoblots of tears using agarose gel electrophoresis and chemiluminescence detection provide a semi-quantitative assay for mucin protein that will be useful for comparisons with tears from diseased eyes or after pharmacological intervention. strong class=”kwd-title” Keywords: Tears, ocular surface, mucins, membrane mucins, MUC16, MUC1, MUC5AC, MUC4 1. Introduction Maintenance of the tear film on the ocular surface epithelia is facilitated by the presence of mucins secreted on its surface as well as by membrane-associated mucins in the apical cell glycocalyx. Mucins are defined as glycoproteins, Rabbit Polyclonal to ALPK1 hydrophilic in nature, that have at least 50C80% of their mass as carbohydrate, O-linked to serine and threonine residues present within tandem repeats of amino acids in their protein backbone Dodecanoylcarnitine (Gendler and Spicer, 1995; Moniaux et al., 2001; Hollingsworth and Swanson, 2004). To date, at least 20 distinct human mucin genes have been cloned (Gendler and Spicer, 1995; Lapensee et al., 1997; Williams et al., 1999; Williams et al., 2001; Yin and Lloyd, 2001; Gum et al., 2002; Pallesen et al., 2002; Chen et al., 2004; Higuchi et al., 2004; Hollingsworth and Swanson, 2004). Of these, MUCs 1, 3A, 3B, 4, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17 and 20 have been characterized as membrane associated. These mucins have a transmembrane domain, a short cytoplasmic tail, and an extended extracellular domain that forms the glycocalyx of epithelial cells (Gum, 1995). Many of the membrane-associated mucins are shed from the epithelial surface and are present as soluble forms in extracellular fluids (Moniaux et al., 2001). MUCs 2, 5AC, 5B, 6, Dodecanoylcarnitine 7 and 19 have been classified as secreted mucins. These mucins are secreted by goblet cells or other secretory cells and, with the exception of the monomeric MUC7, are gel-forming mucins, which form large oligomers through cysteine-cysteine interactions that contribute to the formation of a mucus gel (Hollingsworth and Swanson, 2004). Mucins for which mRNA and proteins have been demonstrated in human ocular surface epithelia include the membrane-associated mucins MUC1, MUC4 and MUC16 in the stratified epithelial cells and the secreted, gel-forming mucin MUC5AC in the conjunctival goblet cells (Gipson, 2004). MUC2 mRNA has been detected at low levels (5,900-fold lower than MUC5AC) in human conjunctival tissue, and MUC2 protein was detected by immunoblot of conjunctival tissue (McKenzie et al., 2000). Lacrimal gland epithelia have been shown to produce the small soluble secreted mucin MUC7 (Jumblatt et al., Dodecanoylcarnitine Dodecanoylcarnitine 2003), as well as MUC1, 5AC, and 5B (Paulsen et al., 2004), but it is not clear whether MUC7 and 5B are present in the tear fluid. Previous studies have demonstrated the presence of MUC1, 2, 4, and 5AC protein in human preocular tear fluid (Ellingham et al., 1997; Garcher et al., 1998; Jumblatt et al., 1999; McKenzie et al., 2000; Pflugfelder et al., 2000; Zhao et al., 2001; Argueso et al., 2002; Jumblatt et al., 2002). Most of these studies examined tears.