Preparation of anti-mucin polypeptide antisera to study mucin biosynthesis

K. M. Tytgat, L. W. Klomp, F. J. Bovelander, F. J. Opdam, A. van der Wurff, A. W. Einerhand, H. A. Büller, G. J. Strous, J. Dekker

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Mucins are very heavily O-glycosylated glycoproteins. For in depth studies on the cell biological aspects of mucins, anti-polypeptide antibodies are essential. We therefore developed a method for the preparation and screening of polyclonal antisera against mucin peptide epitopes. Mucins from five different tissues were isolated using CsCl/guanidinium.HCl density gradient centrifugation, and polyclonal antisera were prepared. Specificity for mucin peptide epitopes was determined by Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, and immunoprecipitation. The versatility of each anti-mucin antiserum for the study of mucin biosynthesis was tested in metabolic labeling experiments on tissue explants. All polyclonal antisera were directed primarily against peptide epitopes of mucin precursors as well as of fully glycosylated mucins. Each of the polyclonal antisera enabled us to study the mucin biosynthesis in the organ where the mucin was isolated from originally. Our mucin isolation method yields very pure mucins with sufficiently intact polypeptides to reproducibly elicit polyclonal anti-polypeptide antisera. As the sera recognized the polypeptides, primarily independent of the state of O-glycosylation, the intermediate steps in the biosynthesis of the mucins could be identified
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-341
JournalAnalytical Biochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995

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