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

Different modes of interaction of pulmonary surfactant protein SP-B in phosphatidylcholine bilayers.

Pulmonary surfactant-associated protein B (SP-B) has been incorporated into vesicles of dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPPC) or egg yolk phosphatidylcholine (PC) by two different procedures to characterize the dependence of lipid-protein interactions on the method of reconstitution. In method A the protein was dissolved in a small volume of either methanol or 60% (v/v) acetonitrile and injected into an aqueous phase containing phospholipid vesicles. In method B the vesicles were prepared by injection of a mixture of phospholipid and SP-B dissolved in methanol or aqueous acetonitrile. Both methods of reconstitution led to the extensive interaction of SP-B with PC bilayers as demonstrated by co-migration during centrifugation, marked protection against proteolysis, change in the fluorescence emission intensity of SP-B, and protection of SP-B tryptophan fluorescence from quenching by acrylamide. SP-B promoted the rapid adsorption of DPPC on an air/liquid interface irrespective of the method of protein reconstitution. However, the interfacial adsorption activity of SP-B reconstituted by method B remained stable for hours, but that of SP-B prepared by method A decreased with time. Electron microscopy showed that the injection of SP-B into an aqueous phase containing PC or DPPC vesicles (method A) induced a rapid aggregation of vesicles. By contrast, a much longer time was required for detecting vesicle aggregation when the protein was reconstituted by co-injection of SP-B and phospholipids (method B). The presence of 5% (w/w) SP-B in DPPC bilayers prepared by method B broadened the differential scanning calorimetry thermogram and decreased the enthalpy of the transition. In contrast, the injection of SP-B into preformed DPPC vesicles (method A) did not influence the gel-to-liquid phase transition of DPPC bilayers. Taken together, these results indicate that the mode and extent of interaction of SP-B with surfactant phospholipids depends on the conditions of preparation of lipid/protein samples, and that care should be taken in the interpretation of findings from reconstituted systems on the role of these surfactant proteins in the alveolar space.[1]


  1. Different modes of interaction of pulmonary surfactant protein SP-B in phosphatidylcholine bilayers. Cruz, A., Casals, C., Keough, K.M., Pérez-Gil, J. Biochem. J. (1997) [Pubmed]
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