Gene Summary

Gene:MUC5B; mucin 5B, oligomeric mucus/gel-forming
Aliases: MG1, MUC5, MUC9, MUC-5B
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the mucin family of proteins, which are highly glycosylated macromolecular components of mucus secretions. This family member is the major gel-forming mucin in mucus. It is a major contributor to the lubricating and viscoelastic properties of whole saliva, normal lung mucus and cervical mucus. This gene has been found to be up-regulated in some human diseases, including sinus mucosa of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), CRS with nasal polyposis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and H. pylori-associated gastric disease, and it may be involved in the pathogenesis of these diseases. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2010]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (8)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • BRAF
  • Mutation
  • Mucinous Adenocarcinoma
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Messenger RNA
  • Transcription
  • Base Sequence
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Protein Binding
  • Western Blotting
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Breast Cancer
  • Mucin 5AC
  • Disease Progression
  • Stomach Cancer
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Mucin-6
  • Precancerous Conditions
  • Mucin-5B
  • Gene Expression
  • Chromosome 11
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mucins
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • MUC1
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Survival Rate
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Mucin-2
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Pancreatitis
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (8)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: MUC5B (cancer-related)

Kasprzak A, Adamek A
Mucins: the Old, the New and the Promising Factors in Hepatobiliary Carcinogenesis.
Int J Mol Sci. 2019; 20(6) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mucins are large

Song J, Wu S, Xia X, et al.
Cell adhesion-related gene somatic mutations are enriched in aggressive papillary thyroid microcarcinomas.
J Transl Med. 2018; 16(1):269 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Approximately half of the documented increases in differentiated thyroid carcinoma is due to identification of papillary thyroid microcarcinomas (PTMCs). Knowing whether PTMC is aggressive is required for proper treatment, but until now, there has been no method for assessing these traits and understanding the underlying mechanisms for aggressiveness.
METHODS: We performed whole-exome sequencing of 16 PTMCs and matched normal thyroid tissues and GO/KEGG analysis to study genetic alterations and biological consequences associated with aggressive PTMCs, and then sequenced these genes using a next-generation gene-panel approach in an additional 70 PTMC samples including aggressive (n = 50) and non-aggressive (n = 20) groups.
RESULTS: We identified 254 somatic mutations of 234 genes, for which 178 mutations in 168 genes were found in the aggressive group, and 76 mutations in 74 genes were found in the non-aggressive group. Several recurrent mutations in BRAF, VCAN, ALDH1L1, and MUC5B were identified, and many novel but infrequent mutations in other genes were also found. The aggressive cohort had more mutational burdens than the non-aggressive group (P = 0.004). Nonsynonymous mutations of 13 genes (MUC5B, TNN, SSPO, PPFIA1, PCDHGA2, ITGA8, ITGA4, DCHS1, CRNN, ROCK1, RELN, LAMC2, and AEBP1) were involved in cell adhesion, and these were only present in the aggressive group. Targeted sequencing of these genes revealed significant enrichment in the aggressive group (P = 0.000004).
CONCLUSION: PTC may have evolved from PTMC due to sharing similar gene mutations, and the accumulation of such mutations promoted the aggressiveness of PTMC. Gene mutants associated with cell adhesion may be used to predict PTMC aggressiveness and allow more selective treatment.

Liu B, Hu FF, Zhang Q, et al.
Genomic landscape and mutational impacts of recurrently mutated genes in cancers.
Mol Genet Genomic Med. 2018; 6(6):910-923 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cancer genes tend to be highly mutated under positive selection. Better understanding the recurrently mutated genes (RMGs) in cancer is critical for explicating the mechanisms of tumorigenesis and providing vital clues for therapy. Although some studies have investigated functional impacts of RMGs in specific cancer types, a comprehensive analysis of RMGs and their mutational impacts across cancers is still needed.
METHODS: We obtained data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and calculated mutation rate of each gene in 31 cancer types. Functional analysis was performed to identify the important signaling pathways and enriched protein types of RMGs. In order to evaluate functional impacts of RMGs, differential expression, survival, and pairwise mutation patterns analyses were performed.
RESULTS: Totally, we identified 897 RMGs and 624 of them were specifically mutant in only a single cancer type. Functional analysis demonstrated that these RMGs were enriched in hydrolases, cytoskeletal protein, and pathways like MAPK, cell cycle, PI3K-Akt, ECM receptor interaction, and energy metabolism. The differentially expressed genes potentially affected by the same common RMG showed a relatively low overlap across different cancer types. For the 19 Mucin (MUC) family genes, nine of them were RMGs and four of them (MUC17, MUC5B, MUC4, and MUC16) were common RMGs shared in 8 to 17 cancer types. The results showed that recurrent mutations in MUC genes were significantly associated with better survival prognosis. Only a small part of RMGs was differentially expressed due to their own mutations and most of them were downregulated. In addition, pairwise mutation pattern analysis revealed the high frequency of co-occurred mutations among RMGs in STAD.
CONCLUSION: Through the functional analysis of RMGs, we found that six signaling pathways were disrupted in most cancer types and that energy metabolism was abnormal in tumors. The results also revealed a strong correlation between recurrently mutated genes from MUC family and human survival. In addition, gene expression and survival prognosis were associated with different mutation types of RMGs.

Zhang X, Shi D, Liu YP, et al.
Effects of the Helicobacter pylori Virulence Factor CagA and Ammonium Ion on Mucins in AGS Cells.
Yonsei Med J. 2018; 59(5):633-642 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: To investigate the effects of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)-CagA and the urease metabolite NH₄⁺ on mucin expression in AGS cells.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: AGS cells were transfected with CagA and/or treated with different concentrations of NH₄CL. Mucin gene and protein expression was assessed by qPCR and immunofluorescence assays, respectively.
RESULTS: CagA significantly upregulated MUC5AC, MUC2, and MUC5B expression in AGS cells, but did not affect E-cadherin and MUC6 expression. MUC5AC, MUC6, and MUC2 expression in AGS cells increased with increasing NH₄⁺ concentrations until reaching a peak level at 15 mM. MUC5B mRNA expression in AGS cells (NH₄⁺ concentration of 15 mM) was significantly higher than that at 0, 5, and 10 mM NH₄⁺. No changes in E-cadherin expression in AGS cells treated with NH₄⁺ were noted, except at 20 mM. The expression of MUC5AC, MUC2, and MUC6 mRNA in CagA-transfected AGS cells at an NH₄⁺ concentration of 15 mM was significantly higher than that at 0 mM, and decreased at higher concentrations. The expression of MUC5B mRNA increased with increases in NH₄⁺ concentration, and was significantly higher compared to that in untreated cells. No significant change in the expression of E-cadherin mRNA in CagA-transfected AGS cells was observed. Immunofluorescence assays confirmed the observed changes.
CONCLUSION: H. pylori may affect the expression of MUC5AC, MUC2, MUC5B, and MUC6 in AGS cells via CagA and/or NH₄⁺, but not E-cadherin.

Jiao X, Liu W, Mahdessian H, et al.
Recurrent, low-frequency coding variants contributing to colorectal cancer in the Swedish population.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(3):e0193547 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified dozens of common genetic variants associated with risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). However, the majority of CRC heritability remains unclear. In order to discover low-frequency, high-risk CRC susceptibility variants in Swedish population, we genotyped 1 515 CRC patients enriched for familial cases, and 12 108 controls. Case/control association analysis suggested eight novel variants associated with CRC risk (OR 2.0-17.6, p-value < 2.0E-07), comprised of seven coding variants in genes RAB11FIP5, POTEA, COL27A1, MUC5B, PSMA8, MYH7B, and PABPC1L as well as one variant downstream of NEU1 gene. We also confirmed 27 out of 30 risk variants previously reported from GWAS in CRC with a mixed European population background. This study identified rare, coding sequence variants associated with CRC risk through analysis in a relatively homogeneous population. The segregation data suggest a complex mode of inheritance in seemingly dominant pedigrees.

Sun Y, Huo C, Qiao Z, et al.
Comparative Proteomic Analysis of Exosomes and Microvesicles in Human Saliva for Lung Cancer.
J Proteome Res. 2018; 17(3):1101-1107 [PubMed] Related Publications
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are cell-derived microparticles present in most body fluids, mainly including microvesicles and exosomes. EV-harbored proteins have emerged as novel biomarkers for the diagnosis and prediction of different cancers. We successfully isolated microvesicles and exosomes from human saliva, which were further characterized comprehensively. Salivary EV protein profiling in normal subjects and lung cancer patients was systematically compared through utilizing LC-MS/MS-based label-free quantification. 785 and 910 proteins were identified from salivary exosomes and microvesicles, respectively. According to statistical analysis, 150 and 243 proteins were revealed as dysregulated candidates in exosomes and microvesicles for lung cancer. Among them, 25 and 40 proteins originally from distal organ cells were found in the salivary exosomes and microvesicles of lung cancer patients. In particular, 5 out of 25 and 9 out of 40 are lung-related proteins. Six potential candidates were selected for verification by Western blot, and four of them, namely, BPIFA1, CRNN, MUC5B, and IQGAP, were confirmed either in salivary microvesicles or in exosomes. Our data collectively demonstrate that salivary EVs harbor informative proteins that might be used for the detection of lung cancer through a noninvasive way.

Milewski D, Balli D, Ustiyan V, et al.
FOXM1 activates AGR2 and causes progression of lung adenomas into invasive mucinous adenocarcinomas.
PLoS Genet. 2017; 13(12):e1007097 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Lung cancer remains one of the most prominent public health challenges, accounting for the highest incidence and mortality among all human cancers. While pulmonary invasive mucinous adenocarcinoma (PIMA) is one of the most aggressive types of non-small cell lung cancer, transcriptional drivers of PIMA remain poorly understood. In the present study, we found that Forkhead box M1 transcription factor (FOXM1) is highly expressed in human PIMAs and associated with increased extracellular mucin deposition and the loss of NKX2.1. To examine consequences of FOXM1 expression in tumor cells in vivo, we employed an inducible, transgenic mouse model to express an activated FOXM1 transcript in urethane-induced benign lung adenomas. FOXM1 accelerated tumor growth, induced progression from benign adenomas to invasive, metastatic adenocarcinomas, and induced SOX2, a marker of poorly differentiated tumor cells. Adenocarcinomas in FOXM1 transgenic mice expressed increased MUC5B and MUC5AC, and reduced NKX2.1, which are characteristics of mucinous adenocarcinomas. Expression of FOXM1 in KrasG12D transgenic mice increased the mucinous phenotype in KrasG12D-driven lung tumors. Anterior Gradient 2 (AGR2), an oncogene critical for intracellular processing and packaging of mucins, was increased in mouse and human PIMAs and was associated with FOXM1. FOXM1 directly bound to and transcriptionally activated human AGR2 gene promoter via the -257/-247 bp region. Finally, using orthotopic xenografts we demonstrated that inhibition of either FOXM1 or AGR2 in human PIMAs inhibited mucinous characteristics, and reduced tumor growth and invasion. Altogether, FOXM1 is necessary and sufficient to induce mucinous phenotypes in lung tumor cells in vivo.

Taman H, Fenton CG, Hensel IV, et al.
Transcriptomic Landscape of Treatment-Naïve Ulcerative Colitis.
J Crohns Colitis. 2018; 12(3):327-336 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Background and Aims: Ulcerative colitis [UC] is a chronic inflammatory disease that effects the gastrointestinal tract and is considered one of the most prominent and common forms of inflammatory bowel disease [IBD]. This study aimed to define and describe the entire transcriptomic landscape in a well-stratified, treatment-naïve UC patient population compared with control patients by using next-generation technology, RNA-Seq.
Methods: Mucosal biopsies from treatment-naïve UC patients [n = 14], and healthy controls [n = 16] underwent RNA-Seq. Principal component analysis [PCA], cell deconvolution methods, and diverse statistical methods were applied to obtain and characterise a dataset of significantly differentially expressed genes [DEGs].
Results: Analyses revealed 1480 significantly DEGs in treatment-naïve UC when compared with controls. Cell populations of monocytes, T cells, neutrophils, B cells/ lymphoid cells, and myeloid cells were increased during inflammation, whereas the fraction of epithelial cells were reduced in UC, which is reflected by the DEGs; 79 DEGs were identified as IBD susceptibility genes, and 58 DEGs were expressed in a gender-specific manner. MUC5B, REG3A, DEFA5, and IL33 might be considered as colorectal cancer [CRC] risk factors following UC in males. AQP9 together with CLDN2 may have a role regulating tissue-specific physiological properties in tight junctions in UC. An additional functional role for AQP9 in the synthesis and/or the function of mucus can be implied.
Conclusions: This study reveals new potential players in UC pathogenesis in general, and provides evidence for a gender-dependent pathogenesis for UC. These results can be useful for the development of personalised treatment strategies for UC in the future.

Lahdaoui F, Messager M, Vincent A, et al.
Depletion of MUC5B mucin in gastrointestinal cancer cells alters their tumorigenic properties: implication of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway.
Biochem J. 2017; 474(22):3733-3746 [PubMed] Related Publications
Secreted mucins are large O-glycosylated proteins that participate in the protection/defence of underlying mucosae in normal adults. Alteration of their expression is a hallmark of numerous epithelial cancers and has often been correlated to bad prognosis of the tumour. The secreted mucin MUC5B is overexpressed in certain subtypes of gastric and intestinal cancers, but the consequences of this altered expression on the cancer cell behaviour are not known. To investigate the role of MUC5B in carcinogenesis, its expression was knocked-down in the human gastric cancer cell line KATO-III and in the colonic cancer cell line LS174T by using transient and stable approaches. Consequences of MUC5B knocking-down on cancer cells were studied with respect to

Atherton MJ, Stephenson KB, Pol J, et al.
Customized Viral Immunotherapy for HPV-Associated Cancer.
Cancer Immunol Res. 2017; 5(10):847-859 [PubMed] Related Publications
The viral-transforming proteins E6 and E7 make human papillomavirus-positive (HPV

Locafaro G, Andolfi G, Russo F, et al.
IL-10-Engineered Human CD4
Mol Ther. 2017; 25(10):2254-2269 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
T regulatory cells (Tregs) play a key role in modulating T cell responses. Clinical trials showed that Tregs modulate graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). However, their ability to mediate anti-leukemic activity (graft-versus-leukemia [GvL]) is largely unknown. Enforced interleukin-10 (IL-10) expression converts human CD4

Matse JH, Bharos WK, Veerman ECI, et al.
Mucoepidermoid carcinoma-associated expression of MUC5AC, MUC5B and mucin-type carbohydrate antigen sialyl-Tn in the parotid gland.
Arch Oral Biol. 2017; 82:121-126 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: The aberrant expression of mucins and mucin-type carbohydrates has been described in many types of cancer, including mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC), a malignant salivary gland tumor. In this study, we examined the aberrant expression patterns of mucins (MUC1, MUC4, MUC5AC and MUC5B), simple mucin-type carbohydrate antigens (Tn, sialyl-Tn and T) and mature carbohydrate antigens (Lewis
DESIGN: We conducted an immunohistochemical study to investigate the presence of mucins and carbohydrates in 24 MEC samples originating from the parotid gland and in surrounding normal tissue of the same gland in comparison 6 samples of normal salivary glands. The expression levels were compared with respect to the histological grading. Furthermore, 24 MEC samples from non-parotid salivary glands were included.
RESULTS: We observed loss of topology of membrane-bound MUC1 and MUC4, and de novo expression of MUC5AC, MUC5B and sialyl-Tn in MEC that originated in the parotid gland. Furthermore, mucins MUC1, MUC4 and carbohydrate antigens Tn, sialyl-Tn, T, Lewis
CONCLUSION: During the development of MEC in the parotid gland, the genes for gel-forming secretory mucins are switched on. Besides these MEC tissues overexpress short oligosaccharides, suggesting that the glycosylation machinery is altered.

Duruisseaux M, Antoine M, Rabbe N, et al.
Lepidic predominant adenocarcinoma and invasive mucinous adenocarcinoma of the lung exhibit specific mucin expression in relation with oncogenic drivers.
Lung Cancer. 2017; 109:92-100 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate MUC1, MUC2, MUC5B, MUC5AC, and MUC6 expression in invasive lepidic predominant adenocarcinoma (LPA) and invasive mucinous adenocarcinoma (IMA) of the lung, and the impact of oncogenic drivers.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: MUC1, MUC2, MUC5B, MUC5AC, MUC6, TTF1 and Hnf4α immunohistochemistry was performed on surgical samples from 52 patients with IMA (n=25) or LPA (n=27). We searched for EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, and HER2 mutations and ALK, ROS1, and NRG1 rearrangements.
RESULTS: MUC1, MUC2, MUC5B, MUC5AC, and MUC6 expression was detected in tumor cells in 77%, 2%, 63%, 36%, and 21% of cases, respectively. MUC1 was significantly more overexpressed in LPA. MUC5B, MUC5AC, and MUC6 were typically detected in goblet cells and overexpressed in IMA. Hnf4α-positive IMA (n=11) were TTF1-negative and typically did not expressed MUC1 and expressed MUC5AC and MUC6. Hnf4α-negative IMA (n=14) showed a reverse profile of mucins expression, with MUC1 expression and a lack of MUC5AC and MUC6 expression. EGFR-positive status was significantly associated with LPA, MUC1 expression, and no MUC5B, MUC5AC, or MUC6 expression. KRAS-positive status was significantly associated with IMA and MUC5B and MUC5AC expression.
CONCLUSIONS: LPA and IMA exhibit specific mucin expression profiles, with MUC1 being associated with LPA, while MUC5B, MUC5AC, and MUC6 were associated with IMA. Hnf4α expression and EGFR and KRAS mutations may play a role in mucin expression profiles of these lung adenocarcinoma subtypes.

Sun H, Zhao L, Pan K, et al.
Integrated analysis of mRNA and miRNA expression profiles in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2017; 37(5):2779-2786 [PubMed] Related Publications
In the present study, to investigate the potential molecular mechanism of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), mRNA and miRNA expression profiles were integrated for systematic analysis. Results showed that a total of 76 common differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified from 2 mRNA expression profiles that contained 39 tumor and 15 normal samples. Notably, the tumor and normal samples were able to be clearly classified into 4 groups based on the DEGs. mRNA‑miRNA regulation network analysis indicated that 22 out of the 76 DEGs including MUC4, RRM2 and CCL2 are regulated by 5 reported miRNAs. Survival analysis using SurvExpress database demonstrated that the common DEGs were able to significantly differentiate low- and high-risk PDAC groups in 4 datasets. In summary, various biological processes are probably involved in the development and progression of PDAC. Firstly, activation of MUC4 induces nuclear translocation of β-catenin and promotes the process of angiogenesis that provides necessary nutrition or oxygen for cancer cells. Then, RRM2 induces the invasiveness of PDAC via NF-κB. Finally, the formation of an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment by recruiting regulatory T cells with high expression of CCL2 further promotes cancer cell proliferation and vascularization. Identification of valuable biological processes and genes can be helpful for the understanding of the molecular mechanism of PDAC.

Guo M, Tomoshige K, Meister M, et al.
Gene signature driving invasive mucinous adenocarcinoma of the lung.
EMBO Mol Med. 2017; 9(4):462-481 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Though invasive mucinous adenocarcinoma of the lung (IMA) is pathologically distinctive, the molecular mechanism driving IMA is not well understood, which hampers efforts to identify therapeutic targets. Here, by analyzing gene expression profiles of human and mouse IMA, we identified a Mucinous Lung Tumor Signature of 143 genes, which was unexpectedly enriched in mucin-producing gastrointestinal, pancreatic, and breast cancers. The signature genes included transcription factors

Lee J, Lee J, Yun JH, et al.
DUSP28 links regulation of Mucin 5B and Mucin 16 to migration and survival of AsPC-1 human pancreatic cancer cells.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(9):12193-12202 [PubMed] Related Publications
The prognosis of pancreatic cancer has not improved despite considerable and continuous effort. Dual-specificity phosphatase 28 (DUSP28) is highly expressed in human pancreatic cancers and exerts critical effects. However, knowledge of its function in pancreatic cancers is extremely limited. Here, we demonstrate the peculiar role of DUSP28 in pancreatic cancers. Analysis using the Gene Expression Omnibus public microarray database indicated higher DUSP28, MUC1, MUC4, MUC5B, MUC16 and MUC20 messenger RNA (mRNA) levels in pancreatic cancers compared with normal pancreas tissues. DUSP28 expression in human pancreatic cancer correlated positively with those of MUC1, MUC4, MUC5B, MUC16 and MUC20. In contrast, there were no significant correlations between DUSP28 and mucins in normal pancreas tissues. Decreased DUSP28 expression resulted in down-regulation of MUC5B and MUC16 at both the mRNA and protein levels; furthermore, transfection with small interfering RNA (siRNA) for MUC5B and MUC16 inhibited the migration and survival of AsPC-1 cells. In addition, transfection of siRNA for MUC5B and MUC16 resulted in a significant decrease in phosphorylation of FAK and ERK1/2 compared with transfection with scrambled-siRNA. These results collectively indicate unique links between DUSP28 and MUC5B/MUC16 and their roles in pancreatic cancer; moreover, they strongly support a rationale for targeting DUSP28 to inhibit development of malignant pancreatic cancer.

García EP, Tiscornia I, Libisch G, et al.
MUC5B silencing reduces chemo-resistance of MCF-7 breast tumor cells and impairs maturation of dendritic cells.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(5):2113-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mucins participate in cancer progression by regulating cell growth, adhesion, signaling, apoptosis or chemo-resistance to drugs. The secreted mucin MUC5B, the major component of the respiratory tract mucus, is aberrantly expressed in breast cancer, where it could constitute a cancer biomarker. In this study we evaluated the role of MUC5B in breast cancer by gene silencing the MUC5B expression with short hairpin RNA on MCF-7 cells. We found that MUC5B-silenced MCF-7 cells have a reduced capacity to grow, adhere and form cell colonies. Interestingly, MUC5B knock-down increased the sensitivity to death induced by chemotherapeutic drugs. We also show that MUC5B silencing impaired LPS-maturation of DCs, and production of cytokines. Furthermore, MUC5B knock-down also influenced DC-differentiation and activation since it resulted in an upregulation of IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-10, cytokines that might be involved in cancer progression. Thus, MUC5B could enhance the production of LPS-induced cytokines, suggesting that the use of MUC5B-based cancer vaccines combined with DC-maturation stimuli, could favor the induction of an antitumor immune response.

Kim YK, Shin DH, Kim KB, et al.
MUC5AC and MUC5B enhance the characterization of mucinous adenocarcinomas of the lung and predict poor prognosis.
Histopathology. 2015; 67(4):520-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: From the viewpoint of histogenesis, lung adenocarcinoma can be subdivided into two groups: terminal respiratory unit (TRU) and non-TRU types. We recently reported a non-TRU type adenocarcinoma designated as ciliated adenocarcinoma (we now prefer central type adenocarcinoma). We suggest reasons that mucinous adenocarcinoma should encompass central type adenocarcinoma to represent its biological characteristics as non-TRU type adenocarcinoma.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Mucin (MUC)5AC and MUC5B were expressed more significantly in non-TRU type adenocarcinoma (P < 0.01). Thirty-five (76.1%) and 45 cases (97.8%) of 46 non-TRU type adenocarcinoma showed positivity for MUC5AC and MUC5B. Twelve (7.6%) and eight (5.1%) cases of 157 TRU type adenocarainoma showed positivity for MUC5B and MUC5AC. NKX2-1 gene expression was measured with quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). ΔΔCt of NKX2-1 gene expression was 6.79 for TRU type adenocarcinoma and 0.6 for non-TRU type adenocarcinoma. Overall survival and disease-free survival were poorer in non-TRU type adenocarcinoma (P = 0.02 and P = 0.03). A multivariate test also showed that non-TRU type adenocarcinoma is an independent prognostic factor (P = 0.04).
CONCLUSION: MUC5AC and MUC5B were specific makers for non-TRU adenocarcinoma, including both central type adenocarcinoma and mucinous adenocarcinoma. We suggest that non-TRU type adenocarcinoma presents a poorer prognosis, so it should be regarded separately from TRU type adenocarcinoma.

Nagashio R, Ueda J, Ryuge S, et al.
Diagnostic and prognostic significances of MUC5B and TTF-1 expressions in resected non-small cell lung cancer.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:8649 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
To investigate the relationships between the expression of MUC5B and clinicopathological parameters, the expression of MUC5B was immunohistochemically studied. MUC5B expression was observed in 129 of 198 (65.2%) adenocarcinomas and in 4 of 49 (8.2%) squamous cell carcinomas (P < 0.00001). MUC5B expression was significantly associated with poorer differentiation (P = 0.0303), higher pathological TNM stage (p = 0.0153) and poorer prognosis of adenocarcinoma patients (P = 0.0017). Multivariable analysis with Cox proportional hazards models confirmed that MUC5B expression increased the hazard of death after adjusting for other clinicopathological factors (HR = 2.66; 95%CI, 1.26-5.61). We also immunohistochemically evaluated TTF-1 expression and found that the combination of MUC5B with TTF-1 is a useful marker for adenocarcinomas. The diagnostic accuracies of TTF-1 and MUC5B for adenocarcinoma were 83.8% and 70.4%, respectively. The accuracy increased to 94.3% when the two factors were combined. In survival analysis, the MUC5B(High)/TTF-1(-) group was significantly associated with a poorer outcome compared with the MUC5B(Low)/TTF-1(+) group (p < 0.0001). The present study suggested that the combination of MUC5B and TTF-1 expression is useful for discriminating adenocarcinomas from squamous cell carcinomas, yielding prognostic significance in patients with lung adenocarcinoma.

Chow HY, Dong B, Duron SG, et al.
Group I Paks as therapeutic targets in NF2-deficient meningioma.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(4):1981-94 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by the development of multiple tumors in the central nervous system, most notably schwannomas and meningiomas. Mutational inactivation of NF2 is found in 40-60% of sporadic meningiomas, but the molecular mechanisms underlying malignant changes of meningioma cells remain unclear. Because group I p21-activated kinases (Paks) bind to and are inhibited by the NF2-encoded protein Merlin, we assessed the signaling and anti-tumor effects of three group-I specific Pak inhibitors - Frax597, 716 and 1036 - in NF2-/- meningiomas in vitro and in an orthotopic mouse model. We found that these Pak inhibitors suppressed the proliferation and motility of both benign (Ben-Men1) and malignant (KT21-MG1) meningiomas cells. In addition, we found a strong reduction in phosphorylation of Mek and S6, and decreased cyclin D1 expression in both cell lines after treatment with Pak inhibitors. Using intracranial xenografts of luciferase-expressing KT21-MG1 cells, we found that treated mice showed significant tumor suppression for all three Pak inhibitors. Similar effects were observed in Ben-Men1 cells. Tumors dissected from treated animals exhibited an increase in apoptosis without notable change in proliferation. Collectively, these results suggest that Pak inhibitors might be useful agents in treating NF2-deficient meningiomas.

Vega ME, Giroux V, Natsuizaka M, et al.
Inhibition of Notch signaling enhances transdifferentiation of the esophageal squamous epithelium towards a Barrett's-like metaplasia via KLF4.
Cell Cycle. 2014; 13(24):3857-66 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Barrett's esophagus (BE) is defined as an incomplete intestinal metaplasia characterized generally by the presence of columnar and goblet cells in the formerly stratified squamous epithelium of the esophagus. BE is known as a precursor for esophageal adenocarcinoma. Currently, the cell of origin for human BE has yet to be clearly identified. Therefore, we investigated the role of Notch signaling in the initiation of BE metaplasia. Affymetrix gene expression microarray revealed that BE samples express decreased levels of Notch receptors (NOTCH2 and NOTCH3) and one of the the ligands (JAG1). Furthermore, BE tissue microarray showed decreased expression of NOTCH1 and its downstream target HES1. Therefore, Notch signaling was inhibited in human esophageal epithelial cells by expression of dominant-negative-Mastermind-like (dnMAML), in concert with MYC and CDX1 overexpression. Cell transdifferentiation was then assessed by 3D organotypic culture and evaluation of BE-lineage specific gene expression. Notch inhibition promoted transdifferentiation of esophageal epithelial cells toward columnar-like cells as demonstrated by increased expression of columnar keratins (K8, K18, K19, K20) and glandular mucins (MUC2, MUC3B, MUC5B, MUC17) and decreased expression of squamous keratins (K5, K13, K14). In 3D culture, elongated cells were observed in the basal layer of the epithelium with Notch inhibition. Furthermore, we observed increased expression of KLF4, a potential driver of the changes observed by Notch inhibition. Interestingly, knockdown of KLF4 reversed the effects of Notch inhibition on BE-like metaplasia. Overall, Notch signaling inhibition promotes transdifferentiation of esophageal cells toward BE-like metaplasia in part via upregulation of KLF4. These results support a novel mechanism through which esophageal epithelial transdifferentiation promotes the evolution of BE.

Chik JH, Zhou J, Moh ES, et al.
Comprehensive glycomics comparison between colon cancer cell cultures and tumours: implications for biomarker studies.
J Proteomics. 2014; 108:146-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Altered glycosylation is commonly observed in colorectal cancer. In vitro models are frequently used to study this cancer but little is known about the differences that may exist between these model cell systems and tumour tissue. We have compared the membrane protein glycosylation of five colorectal cancer cell lines (SW1116, SW480, SW620, SW837, LS174T) with epithelial cells from colorectal tumours using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Remarkably, there were five abundant O-glycans in the tumour cells that were undetected in the low-mucin producing cell lines, although two were found in the mucinous LS174T cells. The O-glycans included the well-known glycan cancer marker, sialyl-Tn, which has been associated with mucins. Using qRT-PCR, sialyl-Tn expression was found to be associated with an increase in α2,6-sialyltransferase gene (ST6GALNAC1) and a decrease in core 1 synthase gene (C1GALT1) in LS174T cells. The expression of a subset of mucins (MUC2, MUC6, MUC5B) was also correlated with sialyl-Tn expression in LS174T cells. Overall, the membrane protein glycosylation of the model cell lines was found to differ from each other and from the epithelial cells of tumour tissue. These findings should be noted in the design of biomarker discovery experiments particularly when cell surface targets are being investigated.
BIOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The extent of protein glycosylation differences between in vitro cell lines and ex vivo tumours in colorectal cancer research is unknown. Our study expands current knowledge by characterising the membrane protein glycosylation profiles of five different colorectal cancer cell lines and of epithelial cells derived from resected colorectal cancer tumour tissue, using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. The detailed structural differences found in both N- and O-linked glycan structures on the membrane glycoproteins were determined and correlated with the mRNA expression of the relevant proteins in the cell lines. The glycosylation differences found between cultured cancer cell lines and epithelial cells from tumour tissue have important implications for glycan biomarker discovery.

Zhang Z, Chen Y, Xie X, Tang J
The expression of disabled-2 is common reduced in meningiomas.
Neurol India. 2014 Jan-Feb; 62(1):57-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Disabled-2 (Dab2) is frequently down-regulated in several types of cancers. We examined the expression level of Dab2 in human meningiomas and meningioma cells, aimed to investigate its role in the oncogenesis and development of meningiomas.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Western blot analysis was employed to detect Dab2 expression in 90 fresh tissues of meningiomas, 10 leptomeninges and two kinds of human malignant meningioma cell lines. Independent samples t-test, analysis of variance, Pearson Chi-square test and likelihood ratio test were used to analyze the expression level of Dab2 and its relations to clinic-pathological characteristics of meningiomas.
RESULTS: Dab2 was significantly down-regulated in classic meningiomas than the atypical or anaplastic meningiomas. The reduced or loss of expression of Dab2 were significantly correlated with the lower classification of meningiomas and negatively correlated with the invasive ability of adjacent tissues. Furthermore, it was reduced or lost in malignant meningioma cell lines (IOMM-Lee and KT21-MG1). The lower classification of meningiomas correlated with previous comorbidities; not with the gender, age of patients and smoking.
CONCLUSIONS: Dab2 is expressed at variable level in meningiomas with different grade of malignancy and probably plays a pivotal role in the early stage of oncogenesis of malignant meningiomas.

Hao Y, Kuang Z, Xu Y, et al.
Pyocyanin-induced mucin production is associated with redox modification of FOXA2.
Respir Res. 2013; 14:82 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The redox-active pyocyanin (PCN) is a toxic, secondary metabolite secreted by the respiratory pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA). Previously, we have shown that mouse lungs chronically exposed to PCN develop goblet cell hyperplasia and metaplasia (GCHM) and mucus hypersecretion, fibrosis and emphysema. These pathological features are commonly found in the airways of several chronic lung diseases, including cystic fibrosis (CF), as well as in mouse airways deficient in the forkhead box A2 (FOXA2), a transcriptional repressor of goblet GCHM and mucus biosynthesis. Furthermore, PCN inhibits FOXA2 by activating the pro-GCHM signaling pathways Stat6 and EGFR. However, it is not known whether PCN-generated reactive oxygen (ROS) and nitrogen (RNS) species posttranslationally modify and inactivate FOXA2.
METHODS: We examined the posttranslational modifications of FOXA2 by PCN using specific antibodies against oxidation, nitrosylation, acetylation and ubiquitination. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) was used to examine the ability of modified FOXA2 to bind the promoter of MUC5B mucin gene. In addition, we used quantitative real time PCR, ELISA, immunofluorescence and mouse lung infection to assess whether the loss of FOXA2 function caused GCHM and mucin overexpression. Finally, we examined the restoration of FOXA2 function by the antioxidant glutathione (GSH).
RESULTS: We found that PCN-generated ROS/RNS caused nitrosylation, acetylation, ubiquitination and degradation of FOXA2. Modified FOXA2 had reduced ability to bind the promoter of the MUC5B gene. The antioxidant GSH alleviated the modification of FOXA2 by PCN, and inhibited the overexpression of MUC5AC and MUC5B mucins.
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that PCN-mediated posttranslational modifications of FOXA2 are positively correlated with GCHM and overexpression of airway mucins. Furthermore, antioxidant treatment restores the function of FOXA2 to attenuate GCHM and mucus hypersecretion.

Walsh MD, Clendenning M, Williamson E, et al.
Expression of MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC5B, and MUC6 mucins in colorectal cancers and their association with the CpG island methylator phenotype.
Mod Pathol. 2013; 26(12):1642-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mucinous differentiation is associated with both CpG island methylator phenotype and microsatellite instability in colorectal cancer. The mucinous phenotype derives from abundant expression of the colonic goblet cell mucin, MUC2, and de novo expression of gastric foveolar mucin, MUC5AC. We, therefore, investigated the protein expression levels of MUC2 and MUC5AC, as well as MUC5B and MUC6, in molecular subtypes of colorectal cancer. Seven-hundred and twenty-two incident colorectal carcinomas occurring in 702 participants of the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study were characterized for methylator status, MLH1 methylation, somatic BRAF and KRAS mutations, microsatellite-instability status, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2 mismatch repair, and p53 protein expression, and their histopathology was reviewed. Protein expression levels of MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC5B, MUC6, and the putative mucin regulator CDX2 were compared with molecular and clinicopathological features of colorectal cancers using odds ratios and corresponding 95% confidence intervals. MUC2 overexpression (>25% positive tumor cells) was observed in 33% colorectal cancers, MUC5B expression in 53%, and de novo MUC5AC and MUC6 expression in 50% and 39%, respectively. Co-expression of two or more of the mucins was commonly observed. Expression of MUC2, MUC5AC and MUC6 was strongly associated with features associated with tumorigenesis via the serrated neoplasia pathway, including methylator positivity, somatic BRAF p.V600E mutation, and mismatch repair deficiency, as well as proximal location, poor differentiation, lymphocytic response, and increased T stage (all P<0.001). Overexpression was observed in tumors with and without mucinous differentiation. There were inverse associations between expression of all four mucins and p53 overexpression. CDX2 expression was inversely associated with MUC2, MUC5AC and MUC6 expression. Our results suggest that, in methylator-positive tumors, mucin genes on chromosome 11p15.5 region undergo increased expression via mechanisms other than direct regulation by CDX2.

Perrais M, Rousseaux C, Ducourouble MP, et al.
Helicobacter pylori urease and flagellin alter mucin gene expression in human gastric cancer cells.
Gastric Cancer. 2014; 17(2):235-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Helicobacter pylori (Hp), which is one of the causative agents in human gastric adenocarcinoma, is known to interact with mucous gel and alter mucin gene expression. The aim of this work was to study, using an in vitro model of cell infection, the effects of urease, flagellin, and CagA virulence factors on the regulation of the four 11p15 mucin genes (MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC5B, and MUC6).
METHODS: KATO-III and AGS gastric cancer cells were infected for 1, 3 or 6 h with Hp wild-type strains (ATCC 43504, N6, and SS1) or corresponding isogenic mutants deficient for urease subunit B, flagellin subunit A, and CagA. mRNA levels of MUC2, MUC5B, MUC5AC and MUC6 were assessed by RT-PCR, and functional activity of their promoters was measured by transient transfection assays.
RESULTS: Infection of KATO-III cells with Hp wild-type strains resulted in an early (at 1 h) transient expression of MUC2, MUC5AC, and MUC6 mRNA concomitant with those of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-8, and TNF-α cytokines. In these cells, the UreB(-) isogenic mutant induced strong activation of MUC5AC expression, and UreB-responsive elements were located in the -486/-1 region of the promoter. FlaA(-) and CagA(-) mutants had no effect on mucin gene mRNA levels in KATO-III cells. In AGS cells, Hp-responsive elements were identified in all promoters, and overexpression of NF-κB induced upregulation of MUC5AC promoter activity when infected with the UreB(-) isogenic mutant.
CONCLUSION: These results indicate that Hp infection of gastric cancer cells alters 11p15 mucin gene transcription and that MUC5AC downregulation is mediated by urease virulence factor.

Seibold MA, Smith RW, Urbanek C, et al.
The idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis honeycomb cyst contains a mucocilary pseudostratified epithelium.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(3):e58658 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We previously identified a MUC5B gene promoter-variant that is a risk allele for sporadic and familial Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/Usual Interstitial Pneumonia (IPF/UIP). This allele was strongly associated with increased MUC5B gene expression in lung tissue from unaffected subjects. Despite the strong association of this airway epithelial marker with disease, little is known of mucin expressing structures or of airway involvement in IPF/UIP.
METHODS: Immunofluorescence was used to subtype mucus cells according to MUC5B and MUC5AC expression and to identify ciliated, basal, and alveolar type II (ATII) cells in tissue sections from control and IPF/UIP subjects. Staining patterns were quantified for distal airways (Control and IPF/UIP) and in honeycomb cysts (HC).
RESULTS: MUC5B-expressing cells (EC) were detected in the majority of control distal airways. MUC5AC-EC were identified in half of these airways and only in airways that contained MUC5B-EC. The frequency of MUC5B+ and MUC5AC+ distal airways was increased in IPF/UIP subjects. MUC5B-EC were the dominant mucus cell type in the HC epithelium. The distal airway epithelium from control and IPF/UIP subjects and HC was populated by basal and ciliated cells. Most honeycombing regions were distinct from ATII hyperplasic regions. ATII cells were undetectable in the overwhelming majority of HC.
CONCLUSIONS: The distal airway contains a pseudostratified mucocilary epithelium that is defined by basal epithelial cells and mucus cells that express MUC5B predominantly. These data suggest that the HC is derived from the distal airway.

Walsh MD, Cummings MC, Pearson SA, et al.
Lynch syndrome-associated breast cancers do not overexpress chromosome 11-encoded mucins.
Mod Pathol. 2013; 26(7):944-54 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mismatch repair-deficient breast cancers may be identified in Lynch syndrome mutation carriers, and have clinicopathological features in common with mismatch repair-deficient colorectal and endometrial cancers such as tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes and poor differentiation. Mismatch repair-deficient colorectal cancers frequently show mucinous differentiation associated with upregulation of chromosome 11 mucins. The aim of this study was to compare the protein expression of these mucins in mismatch repair-deficient and -proficient breast cancers. Cases of breast cancer (n=100) were identified from families where (1) both breast and colon cancer co-occurred and (2) families met either modified Amsterdam criteria or had at least one early-onset (<50 years) colorectal cancer. Tumour sections were stained for the epithelial mucins, MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC5B and MUC6, and the homeobox protein CDX2, a regulator of MUC2 expression. In all, 16 mismatch repair-deficient Lynch syndrome breast cancers and 84 non-Lynch breast cancers were assessed for altered mucin expression. No significant difference in the expression of MUC2, MUC5AC or MUC6 was observed between the mismatch repair-deficient and mismatch repair-proficient breast cancers; however, there was a trend for mismatch repair-deficient tumours to express high levels of MUC5B less frequently (P=0.07, OR=0.2 (0.0-1.0)). Co-expression of two or more gel-forming mucins was common. Ectopic expression of CDX2 was associated with expression of MUC2 (P=0.035, OR=8.7 (1.3-58.4)). Mismatch repair-deficient breast cancers do not show differential expression of the mucins genes on chromosome 11 when compared with mismatch repair-proficient breast cancers, in contrast with mismatch repair-deficient colorectal and endometrial cancers, which frequently have increased mucin protein expression when compared with their mismatch repair-proficient counterparts. In addition, ectopic CDX2 expression is positively associated with de novo MUC2 expression.

Kim K, Jang SJ, Song HJ, Yu E
Clinicopathologic characteristics and mucin expression in Brunner's gland proliferating lesions.
Dig Dis Sci. 2013; 58(1):194-201 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Brunner's gland proliferating lesions, termed Brunner's gland hamartoma, hyperplasia, or adenoma, is regarded as a benign condition. However, cancerous changes have been reported in Brunner's gland proliferating lesions.
AIMS: The purpose of this study was to define the characteristic features of Brunner's gland proliferating lesions and evaluate any observed cancerous changes.
METHODS: We analysed clinicopathologic features and mucin expression in 25 Brunner's gland proliferating lesions.
RESULTS: Brunner's gland proliferating lesions were categorized as Brunner's gland hamartoma or hyperplasia according to their tissue components. Brunner's gland hamartoma commonly occurred in the duodenal bulb and exhibited a polypoid appearance, while Brunner's gland hyperplasia was primarily observed in the second portion of duodenum as a submucosal mass and was accompanied by symptoms more frequently than Brunner's gland hamartoma. The Brunner's glands in Brunner's gland proliferating lesions exhibited various morphologic characteristics, from normal-appearing glands to sclerotic glandular foci with atypia. Changes in MUC5 expression observed in both sclerotic glandular foci and dilated Brunner's glands suggest that they might share a common mechanism and are associated with gastric foveolar metaplasia.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that most Brunner's gland proliferating lesions are either hamartoma or hyperplasia, and that true neoplastic Brunner's gland proliferating lesions are very rare. Thus, Brunner's gland adenomas or carcinomas arising in Brunner's gland proliferating lesions should be confirmed by ancillary tests, including immunostaining or molecular analysis, in addition to morphological criteria.

Mahomed F
Recent advances in mucin immunohistochemistry in salivary gland tumors and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Oral Oncol. 2011; 47(9):797-803 [PubMed] Related Publications
This review focuses on the immunohistochemical expression of members of the MUC-type mucin family in salivary gland tumors and head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC). Information is available on changes in the expression levels and distribution profiles of MUC1, MUC2, MUC3, MUC4, MUC5AC, MUC5B, MUC6 and MUC7 in tumors of the salivary glands; and of MUC1, MUC2 and MUC4 in HNSCC. In salivary gland tumors the expression patterns of MUC2, MUC3, MUC5AC and MUC6 appear to be very closely correlated with the histopathological tumor type indicating their potential use to improve diagnostic accuracy in salivary gland neoplasia. Some MUC-type mucins have emerged as valuable prognostic indicators in pleomorphic adenoma, mucoepidermoid carcinoma and HNSCC. Nine antibodies directed against different MUC1 antigens have thus far been examined in HNSCC of which monoclonal antibodies DF3, HMFG-1 and Ma695 have shown significant correlations with disease outcome. The importance of taking the specific anti-MUC antibody into consideration when comparing the results of different studies on MUC expression in salivary gland tumors and HNSCC is also highlighted in this review.

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