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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Interaction of bacterial lipopolysaccharide with mouse surfactant protein C inserted into lipid vesicles.

Infection of the respiratory tract is a frequent cause of lung pathologies, morbidity, and death. When bacterial endotoxin [lipopolysaccharide (LPS)] reaches the alveolar spaces, it encounters the lipid-rich surfactant that covers the epithelium. Although binding of hydrophilic surfactant protein (SP) A and SP-D with LPS has been established, nothing has been reported to date on possible cross talks between LPS and hydrophobic SP-B and SP-C. We designed a new binding technique based on the incorporation of surfactant components to lipid vesicles and the separation of unbound from vesicle-bound LPS on a density gradient. We found that among the different hydrophobic components of mouse surfactant separated by gel filtration or reverse-phase HPLC, only SP-C exhibited the capacity to bind to a tritium-labeled LPS. The binding of LPS to vesicles containing SP-C was saturable, temperature dependent, related to the concentrations of SP-C and LPS, and inhibitable by distinct unlabeled LPSs. Unlike SP-A and SP-D, the binding of SP-C to LPS did not require calcium ions. This LPS binding capacity of SP-C may represent another antibacterial defense mechanism of the lung.[1]


  1. Interaction of bacterial lipopolysaccharide with mouse surfactant protein C inserted into lipid vesicles. Augusto, L., Le Blay, K., Auger, G., Blanot, D., Chaby, R. Am. J. Physiol. Lung Cell Mol. Physiol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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