A key property of mucin glycoproteins is their exceptional capacity to hydrate and lubricate surfaces. In vivo, mucins assemble into mucus hydrogels that cover the epithelium and
protect it from dehydration and shear stress. A better understanding of the origin of these
properties could lead to new treatment strategies for patients with poor mucus coverage,
defective mucus production, or glycosylation as caused by Sjögren syndrome, dry eye, or in
the case of certain bacterial infections.