Mechanistic and functional shades of mucins and associated glycans in colon cancer

Ramesh Pothuraju, Shiv Ram Krishn, Shailendra K. Gautam, Priya Pai, Koelina Ganguly, Sanjib Chaudhary, Satyanarayana Rachagani, Sukhwinder Kaur, Surinder K. Batra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Mucus serves as the chief protective barrier against pathogenic and mechanical insults in respiratory, gastrointestinal, and urogenital tracts. Altered mucin expression, the major component of mucus, in conjunction with differential glycosylation has been strongly associated with both benign and malignant pathologies of colon. Mucins and their associated glycans arbitrate their impact sterically as well as mechanically by altering molecular and microbial spectrum during pathogenesis. Mucin expression in normal and pathological conditions is regulated by nonspecific (dietary factors and gut microbiota) and specific (epigenetic and transcriptional) modulators. Further, recent studies highlight the impact of altering mucin glycome (cancer-associated carbohydrate antigens including Tn, Sialyl-Tn, Sialyl-Lew A, and Sialyl-Lewis X) on host immunomodulation, antitumor immunity, as well as gut microbiota. In light of emerging literature, the present review article digs into the impact of structural organization and of expressional and glycosylation alteration of mucin family members on benign and malignant pathologies of colorectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number649
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • Colon and colorectal cancer
  • Glycans
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • MUC2
  • MUC4
  • MUC5AC
  • Mucins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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