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Bioinformatic identification of polymerizing and transmembrane mucins in the puffer fish Fugu rubripes

Journal article
Authors Tiange Lang
Marina Alexandersson
Gunnar C. Hansson
Tore Samuelsson
Published in Glycobiology
Volume 14
Issue 6
Pages 521-527
ISSN 0959-6658
Publication year 2004
Published at Department of Mathematical Statistics
Institute of Medical Biochemistry
Pages 521-527
Language en
Keywords Animals, Biopolymers, chemistry, Computational Biology, Membrane Proteins, chemistry, Mucins, chemistry, Takifugu
Subject categories Mathematical statistics, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, Medical and Health Sciences


Mucins are large glycoproteins characterized by mucin domains that show little sequence conservation and are rich in the amino acids Ser, Thr, and Pro. To effectively predict mucins from genomic and protein sequences obtained from genome projects, we developed a strategy based on the amino acid compositional bias characteristic of the mucin domains. This strategy is combined with an analysis of other features commonly found in mucins. Our method has now been used to predict mucins in the puffer fish Fugu rubripes that were previously not identified or annotated. At least three gel-forming mucins were found with the same general domain structure as the human MUC2 mucin. In addition one transmembrane mucin was identified with SEA and EGF domains as found in the mammalian transmembrane mucins. These results suggest that the number of gel-forming mucins has been conserved during evolution of the vertebrates, whereas the family of transmembrane mucins has been markedly expanded in the higher vertebrates.

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