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

Surfactant protein a - from genes to human lung diseases.

Surfactant associated protein-A (SP-A) is the most abundant pulmonary surfactant protein and belongs to the family of innate host defense proteins termed collectins. Besides pulmonary host defense, SP-A is also involved in the formation of pulmonary surfactant, as it is essential for the structure of tubular myelin. The human SP-A gene locus includes two functional genes, SFTPA1 and SFTPA2 which are expressed independently, and a pseudo gene. The largest amount of SP-A1 proteins assemble to larger molecular complexes, whereas SP-A2 forms mainly dimers and trimers. SP-A polymorphisms play a role in respiratory distress syndrome, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The levels of SP-A are decreased in the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis, respiratory distress syndrome and further chronic lung diseases. Future areas for clinical research include disease specific SP-A expression pattern and their functional consequences, the differential roles of SP-A1 and SP-A2 in human lung diseases, and therapeutical approaches to correct altered SP-A levels.[1]


  1. Surfactant protein a - from genes to human lung diseases. Heinrich, S., Hartl, D., Griese, M. Current medicinal chemistry (2006) [Pubmed]
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