ABSTRACT: Cell surface mucins configure the cell surface by presenting extended protein backbones that are heavily O-glycosylated. The glycopeptide structures establish physicochemical properties at the cell surface that enable and block the formation of biologically important molecular complexes. Some mucins, such as MUC1, associate with receptor tyrosine kinases and other cell surface receptors, and engage in signal transduction in order to communicate information regarding conditions at the cell surface to the nucleus. In that context, the MUC1 cytoplasmic tail (MUC1CT) receives phosphorylation signals from receptor tyrosine kinases and serine/threonine kinases, which enables its association with different signaling complexes that conduct these signals to the nucleus and perhaps other subcellular organelles. We have detected the MUC1CT at promoters of over 500 genes, in association with several different transcription factors, and have shown that promoter occupancy can vary under different growth factor conditions. However, the full biochemical nature of the nuclear forms of MUC1 and its function at these promoter regions remain undefined. I will present evidence that nuclear forms of the MUC1CT include extracellular and cytoplasmic tail domains. In addition, I will discuss evidence for a hypothesis that the MUC1CT possesses a novel catalytic function that enables remodeling of the transcription factor occupancy of promoters, and thereby engages in regulation of gene expression.
Glycobiology 11/2011; 21(11):1454-531. · 3.58 Impact Factor