Clément Nivet, Irma Custovic, Laure Avoscan, Floris J. Bikker, Aline Bonnotte, Eric Bourillot, Loïc Briand, Hélène Brignot, Jean-Marie Heydel, Noémie Herrmann, Mélanie Lelièvre, Eric Lesniewska, Fabrice Neiers, Olivier Piétrement, Mathieu Schwartz, Christine Belloir, Francis Canon

Development of New Models of Oral Mucosa to Investigate the Impact of the Structure of Transmembrane Mucin-1 on the Mucosal Pellicle Formation and Its Physicochemical Properties

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

The mucosal pellicle (MP) is a biological film protecting the oral mucosa. It is composed of bounded salivary proteins and transmembrane mucin MUC1 expressed by oral epithelial cells. Previous research indicates that MUC1 expression enhances the binding of the main salivary protein forming the MP, MUC5B. This study investigated the influence of MUC1 structure on MP formation. A TR146 cell line, which does not express MUC1 natively, was stably transfected with genes coding for three MUC1 isoforms differing in the structure of the two main extracellular domains: the VNTR domain, exhibiting a variable number of tandem repeats, and the SEA domain, maintaining the two bound subunits of MUC1. Semi-quantification of MUC1 using dot blot chemiluminescence showed comparable expression levels in all transfected cell lines. Semi-quantification of MUC5B by immunostaining after incubation with saliva revealed that MUC1 expression significantly increased MUC5B adsorption. Neither the VNTR domain nor the SEA domain was influenced MUC5B anchoring, suggesting the key role of the MUC1 N-terminal domain. AFM-IR nanospectroscopy revealed discernible shifts indicative of changes in the chemical properties at the cell surface due to the expression of the MUC1 isoform. Furthermore, the observed chemical shifts suggest the involvement of hydrophobic effects in the interaction between MUC1 and salivary proteins.

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