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

Analysis of chimeric proteins identifies the regions in the carbohydrate recognition domains of rat lung collectins that are essential for interactions with phospholipids, glycolipids, and alveolar type II cells.

Pulmonary surfactant proteins A (SP-A) and D (SP-D) are collectins in the C-type lectin superfamily. SP-A binds to dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine and galactosylceramide, and it regulates the uptake and secretion of surfactant lipids by alveolar type II cells. In contrast, SP-D binds to phosphatidylinositol (PI) and glucosylceramide (GlcCer). We investigated the functional region in the carbohydrate recognition domain of rat SP-A and SP-D that is involved in binding lipids and interacting with alveolar type II cells by using chimeric proteins. Chimeras ad3, ad4, and ad5 were constructed with SP-A/SP-D splice junctions at Gly194/Glu321, Gln173/Thr300, and Met134/Cys261, respectively. All three chimeras lost SP-A-specific functions. Chimeras ad3, ad4, and ad5 bound to PI with increasing activity. In contrast, chimeras ad3 and ad4 did not bind to GlcCer, whereas ad5 avidly bound this lipid. From these results, we conclude that 1) the SP-A region of Glu195-Phe228 is required for lipid and type II cell interactions, 2) the SP-D region of Cys261-Phe355 is required for optimal lipid interactions, and 3) the structural requirement for the binding of SP-D to PI is different from that for GlcCer.[1]


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