in addition to the multicellular

exocrine glands which can release their

products through tubes or ducts

there are unicellular exocrine glands

known as mucus cells and goblet cells

which release mucin proteins there are

more than 20 human genes producing the

proteins of the gene family of mutants

these proteins are densely packed with

sugar groups added after translation

which help them absorb water and thus

help to protect epithelial surfaces they

are produced by salivary glands other

regions of the GI tract such as the

stomach pancreas and intestines they are

made in regions of the reproductive

tract such as the cervix the mammary

glands and the prostate gland and they

serve a number of functions a number of

human diseases ranging from colitis to

cancer are associated with a Mis

expression or an overexpression of mucin

genes and the accumulation of mucus can

lead to a number of disorders such as

asthma chronic obstructive pulmonary

disorder and cystic fibrosis