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

A novel procedure for the rapid isolation of surfactant protein A with retention of its alveolar-macrophage-stimulating properties.

Previous studies have shown that surfactant protein A ( SP-A) derived from alveolar-proteinosis patients activates rat alveolar macrophages. However, it is not known if normal rat, dog and human SP-A can also stimulate alveolar macrophages. As alveolar-proteinosis SP-A has a slightly different structure from ordinary SP-A, it would be possible that the ascribed alveolar-macrophage-stimulating properties of SP-A are restricted to alveolar-proteinosis SP-A. To clarify this issue, we isolated SP-A from normal rat and dog pulmonary surfactants, using the same isolation technique commonly used for the isolation of alveolar-proteinosis SP-A, i.e. by butanol precipitation. In contrast with human alveolar-proteinosis SP-A, rat and dog SP-A obtained thus could not activate rat alveolar macrophages to produce oxygen radicals or enhance the phagocytosis of fluorescein isothiocyanate-labelled herpes simplex virus. However, rat, dog and normal human SP-A isolated by a novel method, involving extraction from pulmonary surfactant by using n-octyl beta-D-glucopyranoside and subsequent purification by cation-exchange chromatography, were able to elicit an oxidative burst in rat as well as normal human alveolar macrophages. In addition, dog and rat SP-A obtained thus stimulated the phagocytosis of herpes simplex virus by rat alveolar macrophages. These findings indicate that normal human, rat and dog SP-A have the same alveolar-macrophage- stimulating properties as human alveolar proteinosis SP-A. Dog and rat SP-A isolated by this novel method had the same Ca(2+)-dependent self-aggregation and lipid-aggregation properties as SP-A isolated by butanol precipitation. The new and milder isolation procedure yielded SP-A of high purity, as judged by SDS/PAGE and ELISA.[1]


  1. A novel procedure for the rapid isolation of surfactant protein A with retention of its alveolar-macrophage-stimulating properties. van Iwaarden, J.F., Teding van Berkhout, F., Whitsett, J.A., Oosting, R.S., van Golde, L.M. Biochem. J. (1995) [Pubmed]
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