MUC1 mucin is expressed by normal and malignant epithelial cells and is thought to function through cell-cell interactions and transmembrane signal transduction events. Secreted cancer-associated MUC1 is immunosuppressive and inhibits human T-cell proliferation. We report here that newly synthesized MUC1 is expressed on the surface of mitogen-activated human T cells and is also found in soluble form in the supernatants from cultures of mitogen-activated human T cells. After removal of the mitogenic stimulus from the T-cell cultures, MUC1 expression is downregulated. The addition of anti-MUC1 monoclonal antibody to mitogenactivated cultures partially inhibits the T-cell proliferative response. These data suggest that MUC1 serves an immunodulatory function for human T lymphocytes.

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