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

Pulmonary surfactant-associated protein A enhances the surface activity of lipid extract surfactant and reverses inhibition by blood proteins in vitro.

Although a monolayer of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine, the major component of pulmonary surfactant, is thought to be responsible for the reduction of the surface tension at the air-liquid interface of the alveolus, the participation of unsaturated and anionic phospholipids and the three surfactant-associated proteins is suggested in the generation and maintenance of this surface-active monolayer. We have examined the effects of surfactant-associated protein A (SP-A) purified from bovine lavage material on the surface activity of lipid extract surfactant (LES), an organic extract of pulmonary surfactant containing all of the phospholipids and SP-B and SP-C, but lacking SP-A. Measurements of the surface tension during dynamic compression were made on a pulsating bubble surfactometer. Addition of SP-A to LES reduces the number of pulsations required to attain surface tensions near zero at minimum bubble radius. This increase in surface activity is dependent upon the presence of Ca2+ in the assay mixture. Maximal enhancement is observed at or below 1% of the lipid concentration (w/w). The addition of two blood proteins, fibrinogen and albumin, at physiological concentrations to LES causes severe inhibition of surface activity. Addition of SP-A in the presence of Ca2+ completely counteracts the inhibition by fibrinogen. The amount of SP-A required for full reversal of this inhibition was less than 0.5% of the lipid concentration. Complete reversal of inhibition by albumin was also observed, even though there was a approximately 5000-fold molar excess of inhibitor. Addition of lysophosphatidylcholine also inhibits LES; however, SP-A has no effect on this inhibition.[1]


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