Mucin gene expression in the rat middle ear: An improved method for RNA harvest

Jizhen Lin, Samuel Ho, Michael M. Paparella, Laurie L Shekels, Youngki Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Mucins are heavily glycosylated proteins characterized by high molecular weight and heterogeneous structure. Mucin genes are expressed in a tissue- or epithelium-specific manner. Although mucins are known to be important structural components of the mucociliary transport system that protects epithelium against invading microorganisms, very little is known about mucin gene expression unique to the middle ear. This study demonstrated that middle ear messenger RNA specifically hybridized with rat MUC2 and human MUC2 (SMUC- 41) complementary DNA probes. MUC3 and MUC5AC mucin genes, dominantly expressed in rodent intestine and trachea, were not detected in the rat middle ears in this study. The middle ear MUC2 messenger RNA harvested by lavage was characterized by a single transcript unlike its counterpart in intestine and airways, which is characterized by polydispersity suggestive of a better method for RNA analysis. It was concluded that rat middle ears possess a MUC2 mucin gene or homologue of human MUC2 (SMUC-41).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)762-768
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1999


  • MUC2 mucin gene
  • Middle ear epithelial cells
  • Sprague-dawley rats


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