Surfactant proteins SP-A and SP-D in human health and dis
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Surfactant proteins A (SP-A) and D (SP-D) are lung surfactant-associated hydrophilic proteins which have been implicated in surfactant homeostasis and pulmonary innate immunity. They are collagen-containing C-type (calcium-dependent) lectins, called collectins, and are structurally similar to mannose-binding protein of the lectin pathway of the complement system. Being carbohydrate pattern-recognition molecules, they recognize a broad spectrum of pathogens and allergens via the lectin domain, with subsequent activation of immune cells via the collagen region, thus offering protection against infection and allergenic challenge. SP-A and SP-D have been shown to be involved in viral neutralization, clearance of bacteria, fungi, and apoptotic and necrotic cells, the down-regulation of allergic reaction, and the resolution of inflammation. Studies on single-nucleotide polymorphism, protein levels in broncho-alveolar lavage, and gene knock-out mice have clearly indicated an association between SP-A and SP-D and a range of pulmonary diseases. In addition, recent studies using murine models of allergy and infection have raised the possibility that the recombinant forms of SP-A and SP-D may have therapeutic potential in controlling pulmonary infection, inflammation, and allergies in humans.
Publication order reference
Uday Kishore, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington, Oxford OX3 9DS, UK