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Eur Respir J. 2014 Apr 17. [Epub ahead of print]

SFTA3, a novel protein of the lung: three-dimensional structure, characterisation and immune activation.

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  • 1Dept II, Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.


The lung constantly interacts with numerous pathogens. Thus, complex local immune defence mechanisms are essential to recognise and dispose of these intruders. This work describes the detection, characterisation and three-dimensional structure of a novel protein of the lung (surfactant-associated protein 3 (SFTA3/SP-H)) with putative immunological features.Bioinformatics, biochemical and immunological methods were combined to elucidate the structure and function of SFTA3. The tissue-specific detection and characterisation was performed by using electron microscopy as well as fluorescence imaging.Three-dimensional structure generation and analysis led to the development of specific antibodies and, as a consequence, to the localisation of a novel protein in human lung under consideration of cystic fibrosis, asthma and sepsis. In vitro experiments revealed that lipopolysaccharide induces expression of SFTA3 in the human lung alveolar type II cell line A549. By contrast, the inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-23 inhibit expression of SFTA3 in A549. Sequence- and structure-based prediction analysis indicated that the novel protein is likely to belong to the family of lung surfactant proteins.The results suggest that SFTA3 is an immunoregulatory protein of the lung with relevant protective functions during inflammation at the mucosal sites.

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