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Surfactant Protein A - From Genes to Human Lung Diseases

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Abstract:

Surfactant associated protein-A (SP-A) is the most abundant pulmonary surfactant protein and belongs to the family of innate host defense proteins termed collectins. Besides pulmonary host defense, SP-A is also involved in the formation of pulmonary surfactant, as it is essential for the structure of tubular myelin. The human SP-A gene locus includes two functional genes, SFTPA1 and SFTPA2 which are expressed independently, and a pseudo gene. The largest amount of SP-A1 proteins assemble to larger molecular complexes, whereas SP-A2 forms mainly dimers and trimers. SPA polymorphisms play a role in respiratory distress syndrome, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The levels of SP-A are decreased in the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis, respiratory distress syndrome and further chronic lung diseases. Future areas for clinical research include disease specific SP-A expression pattern and their functional consequences, the differential roles of SP-A1 and SP-A2 in human lung diseases, and therapeutical approaches to correct altered SP-A levels.

Keywords: innate immunity; lung diseases; polymorphisms; surfactant protein A

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/092986706778773112

Affiliations: Dr. von Haunersches Kinderspital, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Lindwurmstr 4, D-80337 Munich, Germany.

Publication date: November 1, 2006

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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