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

Recombinant human SP-A1 and SP-A2 proteins have different carbohydrate-binding characteristics.

Surfactant protein (SP)-A is a member of the collectin family of proteins and plays a role in innate host defense of the lung. SP-A binds to the carbohydrates of lung pathogens via its calcium-dependant carbohydrate-binding domain. Native human alveolar SP-A consists of two distinct gene products: SP-A1 and SP-A2; however, only SP-A2 is expressed in the submucosal glands of the conducting airways. The function of the isolated SP-A2 protein is unknown. We hypothesized that SP-A1 and SP-A2 might have different carbohydrate-binding properties. In this study, we characterized the carbohydrate-binding specificities of native human alveolar SP-A and recombinant human SP-A1 and SP-A2 in the presence of either 1 or 5 mM Ca(2+). We found that all of the SP-A proteins bind carbohydrates but with different affinities. All of the SP-A proteins bind to fucose with the greatest affinity. SP-A2 binds with a higher affinity to a wider variety of sugars than SP-A1 at either 1 or 5 mM Ca(2+). These findings are suggestive that SP-A2 may interact with a greater variety of pathogens than native SP-A.[1]


  1. Recombinant human SP-A1 and SP-A2 proteins have different carbohydrate-binding characteristics. Oberley, R.E., Snyder, J.M. Am. J. Physiol. Lung Cell Mol. Physiol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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