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

Association of surfactant protein C with isolated alveolar type II cells.

Surfactant protein C (SP-C) is a small hydrophobic protein that is synthesized and secreted by alveolar type II cells. The mechanism of clearance of SP-C from the alveolar airspace is not well understood, although previous studies demonstrated that recombinant SP-C instilled into the lungs of spontaneously breathing anaesthetized rats was taken up by type II cells and incorporated into lamellar bodies. The current investigation was undertaken to characterize the interaction of a complex of SP-C and surfactant-like lipids with freshly isolated rat alveolar type II cells under conditions in which the extracellular milieu can be regulated. SP-C was isolated from alveolar proteinosis lavage fluid and radiolabeled with 125I-Bolton-Hunter reagent. The radiolabeled protein retained its ability to facilitate adsorption of phospholipids to an air/liquid interface. Labeled human SP-C associated with isolated type II cells in a concentration-dependent manner that was also dependent upon temperature and time. The association of labeled SP-C with isolated type II cells did not saturate up to 150 micrograms/ml. SP-A significantly enhanced the association of SP-C with isolated type II cells. Under the experimental conditions tested, SP-C was not degraded to TCA-soluble products. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that association or uptake of SP-C by type II cells may be enhanced by SP-A and that like SP-A, SP-C is recycled by type II cells.[1]


  1. Association of surfactant protein C with isolated alveolar type II cells. Pinto, R.A., Hawgood, S., Clements, J.A., Benson, B.J., Naidu, A., Hamilton, R.L., Wright, J.R. Biochim. Biophys. Acta (1995) [Pubmed]
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