Stuck in the Muc

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Goblet cells in the intestine produce Muc2, a protective mucin shown in this confocal immunofluorescent image of a ferret intestine stained for Muc2 (red), nuclei (green), and autofluorescence (magenta). When goblet cells cannot properly let go of the mucus, it remains dense and sticky, which occurs in cystic fibrosis (CF). This deficiency can ultimately lead to a potentially life-threatening gastrointestinal blockage. The lab of John Engelhardt, PhD, UI professor and departmental executive officer of anatomy and cell biology, developed a ferret model of CF to study various aspects of the disease. The image comes from Scott Tyler, a PhD graduate student in the Engelhardt lab.