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Role of mucus layers in gut infection and inflammation
- Hansson, Gunnar C
- Current opinion in microbiology 2012 v.15 no.1 pp. 57-62
- bacteria, colon, epithelial cells, epithelium, inflammation, mucins, mucus, polymers
- The intestinal mucus is an efficient system for protecting the epithelium from bacteria by promoting their clearance and separating them from the epithelial cells, thereby inhibiting inflammation and infection. The function of the colon inner mucus layer is especially important as this explains how we can harbor the large number of bacteria in our gut. The major component of this mucus system is the MUC2 mucin which organizes the mucus by its enormously large net-like polymers. Pathogenic microorganisms, in turn, have developed mechanisms for circumventing this well-organized mucus protective system.