Mucociliary clearance is a major function of the airway epithelium. This important function depends both on the physicochemical properties of the airway mucus and on the activity of the cilia. The former, in turn, is dependent mainly on the quality and quantity of mucous glycoproteins or mucins, which are produced by two different cell types, namely, goblet cells of the epithelium and mucous cells of the submucosal gland. Neither the structural nor the functional differences of mucins produced by these two cell types are yet known. The availability of primary airway epithelial cell culture systems, however, has made it possible to study the structure and regulation of airway goblet cells to some extent. The epithelial mucins are extremely hydrophobic and are associated with various macromolecules, the quality and quantity of which may also affect the physicochemical properties of the mucus. Secretion of epithelial mucins is stimulated by various factors, including a number of inflammatory agents. The recent progress in mucin molecular biological research will allow us to identify different mucin core proteins produced by those different cell types, and, hopefully, the differential functions of these mucins in health and disease.