Mucins are the glycoproteins in epithelial mucous secretions; their protective function is due to their high viscosity. Svennerholm (1963) describes the preparation of sialic acids from mucin.
Characteristics of Mucin from Bovine Submaxillary Gland:
Molecular weight: 400,000 (Downs and Pigman 1969). 4,000,000 by light-scattering (Bettelheim et al. 1962).
Composition: Tettamanti and Pigman (1968) separated BSM into major and minor components and determined the amino acids of the protein moiety (36.6% of the molecule). Besides sialic acid and N-acetyl-galactosamine they reported small amounts of fructose and galactose. Bettelheim et al. (1972) report the carbohydrate content to be 56.7% and the molecular shape to be that of a stiff rod. Downs and Pigman (1969) and Pigman et al. (1973) suggest the possibility of a repeating glycopeptide structure.
Stability: Stable indefinately at 2 - 8° C. Protect from moisture.