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International Journal of Otolaryngology
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 708475, 8 pages
Research Article

More Than One Disease Process in Chronic Sinusitis Based on Mucin Fragmentation Patterns and Amino Acid Analysis

1Department of Otolaryngology, Mansoura University Hospital, Mansoura University, Mansoura 35516, Egypt
2Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH, UK

Received 18 October 2014; Accepted 14 December 2014

Academic Editor: Ludger Klimek

Copyright © 2015 Mahmoud El-Sayed Ali and Jeffrey P. Pearson. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To characterise fragmentation patterns and amino acid composition of MUC2 and MUC5AC in chronic sinusitis. Methods. Antigenic identity of purified sinus mucins was determined by ELISA. Fragmentation patterns of a MUC5AC rich sample mucin were analysed by Sepharose CL-2B gel chromatography. Samples, divided into one MUC2 rich and one MUC5AC rich group, were subjected to sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and their amino acid contents were analysed. Results. Reduction, trypsin digestion, and papain digestion produced progressively smaller mucin species. On SDS-PAGE, digested MUC5AC rich mucin produced four distinct products. Amino acid analysis was characteristic of mucins with high serine, threonine, and proline contents and reduction and proteolysis increased relative proportions of these amino acids. MUC5AC rich mucins contained more protein than MUC2 rich mucins. Conclusion. Sinus mucin fragmentation produced mucin subunits and glycopeptide units of smaller molecular sizes which are likely to have lower viscoelastic properties. Applying this in vivo could alter mucus physical properties and biologic functions. Amino acid contents of MUC2 and MUC5AC mucins are different. This could be contributing to biological properties and functions of sinus mucins. These data suggest that there may be different pathological processes occurring at the cellular level on chronic sinusitis.