MUC1: Structure, Function, and Clinic Application in Epithelial Cancers

Wenqing Chen, Zhu Zhang, Shiqing Zhang, Peili Zhu, Joshua Ka Shun Ko *, Ken Kin Lam Yung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


The transmembrane glycoprotein mucin 1 (MUC1) is a mucin family member that has different functions in normal and cancer cells. Owing to its structural and biochemical properties, MUC1 can act as a lubricant, moisturizer, and physical barrier in normal cells. However, in cancer cells, MUC1 often undergoes aberrant glycosylation and overexpression. It is involved in cancer invasion, metastasis, angiogenesis, and apoptosis by virtue of its participation in intracellular signaling processes and the regulation of related biomolecules. This review introduces the biological structure and different roles of MUC1 in normal and cancer cells and the regulatory mechanisms governing these roles. It also evaluates current research progress and the clinical applications of MUC1 in cancer therapy based on its characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6567
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Epithelial cancer
  • Immunotherapy
  • MUC1
  • MUC1 cell barrier
  • Therapeutic biomarkers
  • Tumor oncogene


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