Goblet Cell Markers




Goblet cells are glandular simple columnar epithelial cells lining of many organs, especially the intestinal and respiratory tracts. Its sole function is to secrete mucus. The majority of the cell's cytoplasm is occupied by mucinogen granules, except at the bottom. Rough endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, the nucleus, and other organelles are concentrated in the basal portion. The apical plasma membrane projects microvilli to increase surface area for secretion.





  • interacts with the MUC2 promoter and activates MUC2 transcription, and plays an important role in the differentiation of goblet cells. PMID: 12559945

  • Immunohistochemically, all the 11 goblet cell-type MCs were strongly stained with CDX-2 and MUC2. PMID: 15087663


  • positive in goblet cells and basal cells of the pseudostratified epithelium. PMID: 12412423

  • Goblet cell bodies can be identified using anti-cytokeratin 7 (CK7). PMID: 10892854


  • can be observed in the superficial foveolar epithelium and mature goblet cells. PMID: 16932021

  • goblet cells were present in the glandular structures of the lesion and immunohistochemical staining was segmentally strongly positive for CK20 and uniformly negative for CK7. PMID: 14720146


  • an antibody shown to react specifically with colonic goblet cells. PMID: 11145256

GOA (Goblet cell antigen)

  • purified from gastric signet ring cell carcinoma. It is immunogenic and can be used to produce antisera which stains goblet cells of the small and large intestine and of intestinalized gastric mucosa by indirect immunological methods. PMID: 157605

ITF (intestinal trefoil factor)

  • selectively expressed in goblet cells of the small and large intestinal mucosa. PMID: 9446622, PMID: 10393106

  • play a role in alteration of the physicochemical nature of goblet cell mucins, thereby affecting the establishment of intestinal helminths. PMID: 7575467

  • a candidate gene for the study of the molecular basis of intestinal and goblet cell-specific gene expression. PMID: 7721858

  • Immunogold staining demonstrates high concentrations of intestinal trefoil factor in the rough endoplasmic reticulum and theca of goblet cells as well as throughout the mucosal surface, consistent with vectorial secretion of this factor by goblet cells onto the intestinal luminal surface. PMID: 8454642

Keratin polypeptide 20 (K20)


  • Immunohistochemistry of jejunal sections with a rabbit polyclonal Ab to Xenopus laevis 35-kDa cortical granule lectin (XL35; 68% identity with intelectin-2) followed a similar pattern, with intense labeling of goblet and Paneth cells at day 14. PMID: 15265922

  • Lectin histochemistry showed differences among the three intestinal segments for the time of appearance of the oligosaccharides in the goblet mucus. PMID: 10445298

  • distribution of O- and N-linked glycoconjugates in human conjunctival goblet cells was examined histochemically using biotinylated and fluorescence-labeled lectins simultaneously. PMID: 9028112

  • lectin-histochemical and morphometrical studies were carried out on intestinal goblet cells of 8-week-old germfree (GF) and conventional (CV) mice of the BALB/c strain. PMID: 8726140

  • Overall, metaplastic goblet cells reacted more avidly with the majority of lectins and even expressed receptors for lectins that were unreactive with normal intestinal goblet cells. PMID: 3237696

  • chicken-lactose-lectin CLL-11, and perhaps CLL-1, are secreted from the goblet cells along with mucin. PMID: 7035469



  • a specific marker for goblet cell. PMID: 16261889, PMID: 11923240

  • Only a portion of the goblet cells in the human nasal mucosa expressed MUC5AC mRNA. This result suggests that surface goblet cells might have other mucin genes, in addition to MUC2 and MUC5AC. PMID: 11129031

  • MUC5AC mucin from human trachea originates from the goblet cells. PMID: 8761488

  • MUC5AC immunohistochemistry demonstrated signals in goblet cells of the epithelial lining. Also, goblet cells inside glandular secretory ducts revealed MUC5AC-positive staining. PMID: 11860173


  • has been suggested to also be an important marker of goblet cell and is expressed in a subset of colonic goblet cells. PMID: 9612268

  • An abundant staining of submucosal mucus gland and epithelial goblet cells for MUC5B was found. Immunohistochemical analysis of MUC5AC showed staining of surface epithelium goblet cells, whereas there was no staining of glandular cells. PMID: 12616207

  • Goblet cells produce mainly MUC5AC, but also MUC5B and some MUC2 in apparently 'irritated' airways. MUC5B dominates in the submucosal glands although a little MUC5AC and MUC7 are usually present. PMID: 12568489


Trefoil factor 3 (Tff3)

  • Immunohistochemistry revealed significant accumulation of TFF3 to mucous cells in the acini of submucosal glands and varying amounts in goblet cells at the ductular portions and the surface epithelium. PMID: 10194185


  • Ulex europaeus-1 (UEA-1) and Dolichos biflorus (DBA) lectin stained the surface of M-cells and goblet cells. PMID: 11073062

  • wheatgerm agglutinin (WGA), peanut agglutinin (PNA), Ulex europaeus agglutinin-1 (UEA-1), Ricinus communis agglutinin-1 (RCA-1), and concanavalin A (ConA) strongly react with the cilia and goblet cells. PMID: 10989591

Other Goblet Cell Markers

  • Alcian blue staining intestinal goblet cell antigen (GOA): a marker for gastric signet ring cell and colonic colloidal carcinoma. PMID: 213641

  • Histochemical studies on the conjunctival goblet cells. I. (Alcian-blue) AB-(periodic acid-Schiff) PAS staining and PAS-AB staining. PMID: 3658323

  • a PAS stain was carried out as a marker for goblet cells. PMID: 10228131

  • P2Y(2) receptor elicits PAS-positive glycoprotein secretion from rabbit conjunctival goblet cells in vivo. PMID: 12964958