[MUC genes: a superfamily of genes? Towards a functional classification of human apomucins]

J Soc Biol. 1999;193(1):85-99.
[Article in French]


The MUC genes encode epithelial mucins. Eight different human genes have been well characterized, and two others identified more recently. Among them, a family of four genes, expressed in the respiratory and digestive tracts, is clustered to chromosome 11p15.5; and these genes encode gel-forming mucins which are structurally related to the superfamily of cystine-knot growth factors. A second group is composed of three independent genes encoding various isoforms of mucins including membrane-bound mucins associated to carcinomas. In this second group, MUC3 and MUC4 encode large apomucins containing EGF-like domains.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Apoproteins / genetics*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 11*
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Growth Substances / genetics
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mucin-3
  • Mucin-4
  • Mucins / genetics*
  • Multigene Family*
  • Sequence Alignment


  • Apoproteins
  • Growth Substances
  • MUC4 protein, human
  • Mucin-3
  • Mucin-4
  • Mucins