Review: Structural determinants of pattern recognition by lung collectins.

Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts, USA.
Innate Immunity (Impact Factor: 2.46). 06/2010; 16(3):143-50. DOI: 10.1177/1753425910368716
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Host defense roles for the lung collectins, surfactant protein A (SP-A) and surfactant protein D (SP-D), were first suspected in the 1980s when molecular characterization revealed their sequence homology to the acute phase reactant of serum, mannose-binding lectin. Surfactant protein A and SP-D have since been shown to play diverse and important roles in innate immunity and pulmonary homeostasis. Their location in surfactant ideally positions them to interact with air-space pathogens. Despite extensive structural similarity, the two proteins show many functional differences and considerable divergence in their interactions with microbial surface components, surfactant lipids, and other ligands. Recent crystallographic studies have provided many new insights relating to these observed differences. Although both proteins can participate in calcium-dependent interactions with sugars and other polyols, they display significant differences in the spatial orientation, charge, and hydrophobicity of their binding surfaces. Surfactant protein D appears particularly adapted to interactions with complex carbohydrates and anionic phospholipids, such as phosphatidylinositol. By contrast, SP-A shows features consistent with its preference for lipid ligands, including lipid A and the major surfactant lipid, dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine. Current research suggests that structural biology approaches will help to elucidate the molecular basis of pulmonary collectin-ligand recognition and facilitate development of new therapeutics based upon SP-A and SP-D.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Collectins are a family of innate immune proteins that contain fibrillar collagen-like regions and globular carbohydrate recognition domains (CRDs). The CRDs of these proteins recognize various microbial surface-specific carbohydrate patterns, particularly hexoses. We hypothesized that collectins, such as pulmonary surfactant proteins (SPs) SP-A and SP-D and serum protein mannose-binding lectin, could recognize nucleic acids, pentose-based anionic phosphate polymers. Here we show that collectins bind DNA from a variety of origins, including bacteria, mice, and synthetic oligonucleotides. Pentoses, such as arabinose, ribose, and deoxyribose, inhibit the interaction between SP-D and mannan, one of the well-studied hexose ligands for SP-D, and biologically relevant d-forms of the pentoses are better competitors than the l-forms. In addition, DNA and RNA polymer-related compounds, such as nucleotide diphosphates and triphosphates, also inhibit the carbohydrate binding ability of SP-D, or approximately 60 kDa trimeric recombinant fragments of SP-D that are composed of the alpha-helical coiled-coil neck region and three CRDs (SP-D(n/CRD)) or SP-D(n/CRD) with eight GXY repeats (SPD(GXY)(8)(n/CRD)). Direct binding and competition studies suggest that collectins bind nucleic acid via their CRDs as well as by their collagen-like regions, and that SP-D binds DNA more effectively than do SP-A and mannose-binding lectin at physiological salt conditions. Furthermore, the SP-D(GXY)(8)(n/CRD) fragments co-localize with DNA, and the protein competes the interaction between propidium iodide, a DNA-binding dye, and apoptotic cells. In conclusion, we show that collectins are a new class of proteins that bind free DNA and the DNA present on apoptotic cells by both their globular CRDs and collagen-like regions. Collectins may therefore play an important role in decreasing the inflammation caused by DNA in lungs and other tissues.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2004; 279(31):32728-36. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M403763200 · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Surfactant protein D (SP-D) is a 43-kDa member of the collectin family of collagenous lectin domain-containing proteins that is expressed in epithelial cells of the lung. The SP-D gene was targeted by homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells that were used to produce SP-D (+/-) and SP-D (-/-) mice. Both SP-D (-/-) and SP-D (+/-) mice survived normally in the perinatal and postnatal periods. Whereas no abnormalities were observed in SP-D (+/-) mice, alveolar and tissue phosphatidylcholine pool sizes were markedly increased in SP-D (-/-) mice. Increased numbers of large foamy alveolar macrophages and enlarged alveoli were also observed in SP-D (-/-) mice. Phospholipid composition was unaltered in SP-D (-/-) mice, but surfactant morphology was abnormal, consisting of dense phospholipid membranous arrays with decreased tubular myelin. The pulmonary lipoidosis in the SP-D (-/-) mice was not associated with accumulation of surfactant proteins B or C, or their mRNAs, distinguishing the disorder from alveolar proteinosis syndromes. Surfactant protein A mRNA was reduced and, SP-A protein appeared to be reduced in SP-D (-/-) compared with wild type mice. Targeting of the mouse SP-D gene caused accumulation of surfactant lipid and altered phospholipid structures, demonstrating a previously unsuspected role for SP-D in surfactant lipid homeostasis in vivo.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/1998; 273(43):28438-43. DOI:10.1074/jbc.273.43.28438 · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Surfactant protein (SP)-D plays an important role in host defense and pulmonary surfactant homeostasis. In SP-D-deficient (Sftpd(-/-)) mice, the abnormal large surfactant forms seen at the ultrastructural level are taken up inefficiently by type II cells, resulting in an over threefold increase in the surfactant pool size. The mechanisms by which SP-D influences surfactant ultrastructure are unknown. We hypothesized that SP-D binds to surfactant immediately after being secreted and influences surfactant ultrastructure conversion. In newborn and adult sheep lungs, immunogold-labeled SP-D was associated with both lamellated membranous lipid structures of newly secreted surfactant and with small aggregate surfactant but not with tubular myelin. Since SP-D preferentially binds to phosphatidylinositol (PI) in vitro, the postnatal changes in PI were assessed. PI content in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid increased after birth and peaked at 2-5 days of age, a time of rapid conversion of surfactant forms that is associated with the peak of surfactant lipid pool size. SP-D selectively interacted with PI-rich liposomes in vitro, causing their lysis. Similarly, the abnormal surfactant ultrastructure in Sftpd(-/-) mice was corrected by the addition of SP-D or melittin, and both peptides caused lysis of lipid vesicles. The normal conversion of surfactant ultrastructure requires SP-D that preferentially interacts with PI-rich, newly secreted surfactant, causing lysis of surfactant lipid membranes, converting the lipid forms into smaller surfactant lamellated structures that are critical for surfactant uptake by type II cells and normal surfactant homeostasis. SP-D regulates the dramatic decreases in the surfactant pool size that occurs in the newborn period.
    Journal of Applied Physiology 04/2009; 106(5):1545-52. DOI:10.1152/japplphysiol.91567.2008 · 3.43 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 22, 2014