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J Biol Chem. 1987 Oct 15;262(29):13877-80.

The major lung surfactant protein, SP 28-36, is a calcium-dependent, carbohydrate-binding protein.

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  • 1Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco 94143.


SP 28-36, a major protein of pulmonary surfactant, has striking amino acid sequence homology with soluble mannose-binding proteins isolated from rat liver and contains residues common to the carbohydrate-binding domains of other mammalian lectins. We have used carbohydrate-affinity chromatography to investigate carbohydrate-binding properties of SP 28-36 isolated from canine and human (alveolar proteinosis patients) lung lavage. SP 28-36 binds to immobilized D-mannose, L-fucose, D-galactose, and D-glucose. The protein binds only weakly to N-acetyl-D-galactosamine and N acetyl-D-glucosamine. Binding is Ca2+-dependent. The threshold Ca2+ concentration is 0.6 mM and maximal binding occurs with 1 mM Ca2+. Bound protein is quantitatively recovered by elution with 2 mM EDTA. Ba2+, Sr2+, and Mn2+, but not Mg2+, can substitute for Ca2+. Unlike some other mammalian lectins, SP 28-36 binds to carbohydrate at pH 5.0. Recombinant human SP 28-36 isolated from the media of Chinese hamster ovary cells, transfected with a DNA construct encoding SP 28-36, has similar carbohydrate-binding activity to the native proteins. Mannose affinity chromatography of the culture medium of Chinese hamster ovary cells results in an efficient purification of the secreted recombinant human SP 28-36.

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