Quantitative measurement of mucolytic enzymes in fecal samples

Shahanshah Khan, Hasan Zaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mucus layer in the gastrointestinal tract covers the apical surface of intestinal epithelial cells, protecting the mucosal tissue from enteric pathogen and commensal microorganisms. The mucus is primarily composed of glycosylated protein called mucins, which are produced by goblet cells, a type of columnar epithelial cells in the intestinal tract. Defective mucin barrier facilitates infection caused by enteric pathogen and triggers inflammation due to invasion of commensal or opportunistic pathogens into the intestinal epithelial mucosa. Several bacterial species in the gut produce enzymes that are capable of degradation of the mucus. Defective mucin production or increased abundance of mucolytic bacteria are clinically linked to inflammatory bowel disease. Measurement of mucolytic enzymes in the feces, therefore, can be implicated in clinical and experimental research on intestinal disorders. Here, we describe a step-by-step procedure for the measurement of the mucolytic enzyme activity in fecal samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere3956
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 20 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Mucin
  • Mucolytic enzymes
  • Mucus
  • Mucus degrading bacteria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Plant Science


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