J Rhinol.  2005 Nov;12(2):81-87.

Roles of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Activation in Mucin Production in Airway Epithelium

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. hmiee91@hotmail.com


Mucus hypersecretion is a common response to chronic inflammation in the lower airways and is a hallmark of chronic rhinosinusitis. It contributes to their morbidity and mortality by plugging airways and causing recurrent infections in lower airway. At present there is no specific treatment for mucus hypersecretion. However, it has been discovered that epithelial growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression and activation causes mucin production in airways. An EGFR pathway is implicated in mucus cell differentiation induced by various stimuli; therefore, inhibition of the EGFR transduction cascade may provide effective new treatments for hypersecretory airway diseases. EGFR pathways have also been implicated in the regranulation of goblet cell in the airway epithelium. Proving this theory will require the use of selective EGFR inhibitors in clinical studies of nasal hypersecretory states.


Epidermal growth factor receptor; Mucin; MUC5AC; Airway
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