Proteinases Release Mucin from Airways Goblet Cells

Thomas F. Boat, Pi Wan Cheng, Jeffrey D. Klinger, Carole M. Liedtke, Bernard Tandler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The mucin-release effect of proteinases on airways epithelium was assessed in vitro. Using expiants of rabbit tracheal mucosa-submucosa we determined that elastase and alkaline proteinase from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, pancreatic trypsin and elastase, and the microbial proteinases subtilisin, thermolysin and pronase. all stimulate mucin release from goblet cells. On the other hand Streptomyces caespitosus proteinase, pancreatic chymotrypsin and collagenasc fail to trigger mucin release. Bovine trachea and human nasal polyp epithelium also release mucins in response to proteinases. Mucin release activity is dependent on proteolytic activity of enzymes which have a fairly broad, but generally similar, substrate specificity. The cellular mechanism of action is not known. We propose that mucin secretion in response to proteinases represents a useful defence mechanism but also forms the basis for hypersecretory states and airways obstruction in chronic endobronchial inflammatory states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMucus and Mucosa
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons Ltd.
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780470720905
ISBN (Print)0272797839, 9780272797839
StatePublished - May 30 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Airways epithclium
  • Mucin-release
  • Pancreatic rrypsin
  • Proteinases
  • Tracheal mucosa-submucosii

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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