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.