Author(s): Kumar P, Ji J, Thirkill TL, Douglas GC
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Abstract The mucin MUC1 is expressed by normal and cancerous epithelial cells and some nonepithelial cells in which it plays roles in regulating adhesion, migration, and cell signaling. In the present studies we found that MUC1 is expressed by normal human neonatal and adult skin fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are usually considered negative for MUC1 expression. Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analyses indicate the presence of full-length MUC1, and immunofluorescence and subcellular fractionation studies show that the protein is expressed on the plasma membrane. Immunohistochemical analyses confirmed the expression of MUC1 by fibroblasts in cryosections of normal human skin. Silencing MUC1 expression in fibroblasts using MUC1 shRNA increased the adhesion of cells to collagen and laminin. Transfection with MUC1 shRNA also increased fibroblast migration on collagen as measured in a wound-healing assay. The expression of α2-integrin was increased in MUC1 shRNA-transfected fibroblasts in which it was localized to membrane ruffles, providing a possible explanation for the increased cell migration on collagen. These results extend the range of expression of MUC1 to skin fibroblasts and suggest a functional role for MUC1 in fibroblast adhesion and motility.
This article was published in Biores Open Access
and referenced in Biochemistry & Pharmacology: Open Access