BACKGROUND A hallmark of colorectal carcinomas is their ability to secrete mucus. Aberrant expression of mucins and alterations in their glycosylation are associated with the development and progression of malignant diseases. Therefore, mucins can be used as markers of malignancy. Tumor-associated mucins are also used as immunotargets in the treatment of cancer. The present work aimed to study the patterns of expression of MUC1, MUC2 and MUC5AC in colorectal carcinoma using immunohistochemistry and their relationship with site, histological differentiation and stage. METHODS Fifty cases of colorectal carcinoma were chosen for the study. The histopathology slides were reviewed and blocks were retrieved. Using manual method, tissue microarray blocks were prepared. Immunostaining for MUC1, MUC2 and MUC5AC was performed on slides cut from the tissue microarray block. RESULTS We found that MUC1 expression was upregulated to 39 %, MUC2 expression was downregulated to 43 % and MUC5AC was aberrantly expressed in 24 % of colorectal cancer (CRC). There was a significant correlation between MUC1 positivity and tumor differentiation. As the grade increased from well to moderately differentiated, MUC1 expression increased from 11 % to 55 % (p-value 0.01). There was a statistically significant difference between MUC5AC positivity and grade of tumor (p-value 0.006). The percentage of cases showing MUC5AC expression increased as the stage of disease progressed from 1 to 4. However, there was no significant difference in MUC5AC positivity and stage of CRC (p-value 0.77). CONCLUSION We do not find any correlation between tumor stage or site and MUC1, MUC2 or MUC5AC expression. MUC1and MUC5AC expression showed significant correlation with tumor grade.