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Cell. 2003 Oct 3;115(1):13-23.

By binding SIRPalpha or calreticulin/CD91, lung collectins act as dual function surveillance molecules to suppress or enhance inflammation.

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  • 1Program in Cell Biology, Department of Pediatrics, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, 1400 Jackson Street, Denver, CO 80206, USA.


Surfactant proteins A and D (SP-A and SP-D) are lung collectins composed of two regions, a globular head domain that binds PAMPs and a collagenous tail domain that initiates phagocytosis. We provide evidence that SP-A and SP-D act in a dual manner, to enhance or suppress inflammatory mediator production depending on binding orientation. SP-A and SP-D bind SIRPalpha through their globular heads to initiate a signaling pathway that blocks proinflammatory mediator production. In contrast, their collagenous tails stimulate proinflammatory mediator production through binding to calreticulin/CD91. Together a model is implied in which SP-A and SP-D help maintain a non/anti-inflammatory lung environment by stimulating SIRPalpha on resident cells through their globular heads. However, interaction of these heads with PAMPs on foreign organisms or damaged cells and presentation of the collagenous tails in an aggregated state to calreticulin/CD91, stimulates phagocytosis and proinflammatory responses.

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