Presence of MUC4 in human milk and at the luminal surfaces of blood vessels

Jin Zhang, Aymee Perez, Mohammad Yasin, Pedro Soto, Min Rong, George Theodoropoulos, Coralie A.Carothers Carraway, Kermit L. Carraway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


MUC4 is a heterodimeric membrane mucin, composed of a mucin subunit ASGP-1 (MUC4α) and a transmembrane subunit ASGP-2 (MUC4β), which has been implicated in the protection of epithelial cell surfaces. Surprisingly, development and characterization of a new monoclonal antibody (mAb), called 1G8, against ASGP-2 demonstrated by immunohistochemistry the presence of MUC4 at the luminal surfaces of blood vessels of both normal tissues and tumors. Muc4 was detected with 1G8 and other Muc4 antibodies in blood vessels from humans, rats and mice. This expression of MUC4 in endothelial cells was confirmed by immunoblotting with 1G8 in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), human iliac artery endothelial cells (HIAECs), and human microvascular endothelial cells (HMVECs). MUC4 could be observed on HUVECs grown on either plastic or Matrigel. Finally, MUC4 expression in the three types of endothelial cell lines was confirmed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). These results provide, to our knowledge, the first demonstration of a member of the MUC gene family and membrane mucin in blood vessels. As a luminal surface component, the MUC4 is situated to contribute to the non-adhesive luminal surface and to act as an intrinsic protection and survival factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-177
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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