Mucin mRNA expression in lung adenocarcinoma cell lines and tissues

Chong Jen Yu, Pan Chyr Yang*, Jin Yuh Shew, Tse Ming Hong, Schuenn Chen Yang, Yung Chie Lee, Li Na Lee, Kwen Tay Luh, Cheng-Wen Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The expression pattern of mucin genes was studied in 7 lung adenocarcinoma cell lines (CL1, CL2, CL3, NCL2, PC9, PC13, PC14) and 12 lung adenocarcinoma tissues. CL1 and PC 13 are poorly differentiated cell lines with low mucin glycoprotein production. The other 5 cell lines are well differentiated and produce a higher amount of mucins. Total RNA was extracted from these cell lines. Northern blot analysis was performed by hybridization with specific antisense oligonucleotide probes recognizing mucin-specific tandem repeats of 4 mucin genes (MUC1, MUC2, MUC3, MUC4). RT-PCR was carried out to amplify the 3′ and 5′ nonrepetitive coding regions of MUC1 and the 5’ nonrepetitive coding region of MUC2. All these cell lines expressed MUC1, MUC2, MUC3, and MUC4 mRNA but in variable mounts. The poorly differentiated cell lines (CL1 and PC 13) had a relatively low level of expression of MUC1, MUC2, MUC3 and MUC4. RT-PCR, with primers amplifying the MUC1 nonrepetitive coding region 5′ end, 293 bp, and the 3′ end, 522 bp, as well as the MUC2 nonrepetitive 5′ coding region, 308 bp, revealed the presence of MUC1 and MUC2 mRNA in all the cell lines. Sequence analysis of the PCR products were very homologous, similar to previously published MUC1 and MUC2 cDNA sequences. The expression pattern of mucin genes is consistent with that of mucin glycoproteins as studied using biochemical and immunological methods. Northern blotting and RT-PCR analysis in 12 lung adenocarcinoma tissues with various grades of differentiation (6 poorly differentiated adenocarcinomas and 6 moderately to well-differentiated adenocarcinomas) showed heterogeneous expression of the 4 mucin genes in tissues without clear correlation with the differentiation grade. Therefore the clinical implications of the differential expression of the mucin genes need further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-126
Number of pages9
JournalOncology (Switzerland)
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1996


  • Gene expression
  • Lung cancer
  • Mucin glycoprotein

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