Mucin gene 19 (MUC19) expression and response to inflammatory cytokines in middle ear epithelium

Glycoconj J. 2009 Dec;26(9):1275-84. doi: 10.1007/s10719-009-9245-x.


Mucin gene 19 (MUC19) has been identified as a major gel-forming mucin in the human middle ear (ME). The objectives of this investigation were to characterize the expression and assess the regulation of MUC19 in the ME cell culture models utilized in the study of otitis media (OM). Findings demonstrate that MUC19 is expressed in both human immortalized cell culture (HMEEC) and chinchilla primary epithelial culture (CMEEC). ME exposure to inflammatory cytokines TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6 and IL-8 up-regulate MUC19 transcription, most robustly after exposure to TNF-alpha. Kinetic experiments suggest a relative early response in MUC19 transcription and a down-regulation after prolonged exposure. Glycoprotein production was increased in response to the increased transcription as well. Similar to other mucin genes in the ME, MUC19 is differentially regulated after exposure to inflammatory cytokines. The large size, gel-forming properties and up-regulation in response to important inflammatory cytokines of MUC19 suggest that it has significant potential to play a role in both physiology and pathophysiology of the ME.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chinchilla
  • Cytokines / pharmacology*
  • Ear, Middle / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Epithelium / drug effects
  • Epithelium / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-1beta / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-6 / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-8 / pharmacology
  • Mucins / genetics*
  • Mucins / metabolism
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / pharmacology


  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukin-8
  • MUC19 protein, human
  • Mucins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha