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Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2005 Feb;32(2):128-34. Epub 2004 Nov 4.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa degrades pulmonary surfactant and increases conversion in vitro.

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Department of Cell Biology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


Although it is known that surfactant lipids and proteins are altered in patients with Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections, the mechanisms and implications of these alterations are not clear. In this study, the effects of P. aeruginosa on the surfactant large aggregate fraction were examined using an in vitro surface area cycling model. Large aggregates were isolated from porcine bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and incubated with supernatants from P. aeruginosa cultures (PAO1, parent strain; PAO1-A1, lasA-negative mutant; PAO1-B1, elastase-negative mutant) or purified elastase. Amounts of surfactant protein (SP)-A and SP-B, phospholipid content, and large aggregate conversion were assessed. In addition, lipid degradation was assessed by incubating a mixture of radiolabeled phospholipids with P. aeruginosa supernatants. The results demonstrated that SP-A was degraded by PAO1 and PAO1-A1 supernatants, and by purified elastase. SP-B was degraded by PAO1 and PAO1-B1 supernatants, but not by elastase. P. aeruginosa supernatants degraded phospholipids, a process inhibited by ZnCl(2). P. aeruginosa supernatants and elastase increased conversion. The data suggest that protein degradation facilitates increased conversion, and that phospholipid degradation and conversion enhance degradation of surfactant proteins. In conclusion, P. aeruginosa secretes multiple virulence factors that cooperate to result in degradation of surfactant components and alteration of large aggregate conversion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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