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Reduced MUC7 mucin sialylation and altered saliva rheology in Sjogren's syndrome associated oral dryness.

Journal article
Authors Nayab M A Chaudhury
Gordon B Proctor
Niclas G. Karlsson
Guy H Carpenter
Sarah A. Flowers
Published in Molecular & cellular proteomics : MCP
Volume 15
Pages 1048-1059
ISSN 1535-9484
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Pages 1048-1059
Language en
Subject categories Cell and Molecular Biology


Sjogren 's syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disorder characterised by lymphocytic infiltration and hypofunction of salivary and lacrimal glands. This loss of salivary function leads to oral dryness, impaired swallowing and speech and increased infection and is associated with other autoimmune diseases and an increased risk of certain cancers. Despite the implications of this prevalent disease, diagnosis currently takes years, partly due to the diversity in patient presentation. Saliva is a complicated biological fluid with major constituents including heavily glycosylated mucins MUC5B and MUC7, important for its viscoelastic, hydrating and lubricating properties. This study investigated Sjogren 's patient 's perception of dryness (bother index questionnaires) along with the rheological, protein composition and glycan analysis of whole mouth saliva and the saliva on the mucosal surface (residual mucosal saliva) to understand the properties that most affect patient wellbeing. Sjogrenvs patients exhibited a statistically significant reduction in residual mucosal saliva, salivary flow rate and extensional rheology, spinnbarkeit (stringiness). Although the concentration of mucins MUC5B and MUC7 were similar between patients and controls, a comparison of protein Western blotting and glycan staining identified a reduction in mucin glycosylation in Sjogren 's, particularly on MUC7. LC-MS/MS analysis of O -glycans released from MUC7 by β-elimination revealed patients had an increase in core 1 sulfation and an overall reduction in sialylation resulting in a global decline of charged glycans. This was primarily due to the loss of the extended core 2 disialylated structure, with and without fucosylation. A decrease in the extended, fucosylated core 2 disialylated structure on MUC7, residual mucosal wetness and whole mouth saliva flow rate appeared to have a negative and cumulative effect on the perception of oral dryness. The observed changes in MUC7 glycosylation could be a potential diagnostic tool for saliva quality and taken into consideration for future therapies for this multifactorial syndrome.

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