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J Biol Chem. 2011 Jun 10;286(23):20137-51. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.224469. Epub 2011 Apr 13.

Introduction of N-linked glycans in the lectin domain of surfactant protein D: impact on interactions with influenza A viruses.

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Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht 3584CL, The Netherlands.


Porcine surfactant protein D (pSP-D) displays distinctively strong, broad-range inhibitory activity against influenza A virus (IAV). N-Linked glycosylation of the carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD) of pSP-D contributes to the high affinity of this collectin for IAV. To investigate the role of the N-linked glycan further, HEK293E protein expression was used to produce recombinant pSP-D (RpSP-D) that has similar structural and antiviral properties as NpSP-D. We introduced an additional N-linked glycan in the CRD of RpSP-D but this modification did not alter the antiviral activity. Human SP-D is unglycosylated in its CRD and less active against IAV compared with pSP-D. In an attempt to modify its antiviral properties, several recombinant human SP-D (RhSP-D) mutants were constructed with N-linked glycans introduced at various locations within its CRD. To retain lectin activity, necessary for the primary interactions between SP-D and IAV, N-linked glycosylation of RhSP-D was shown to be restricted to the corresponding position in the CRD of either pSP-D or surfactant protein A (SP-A). These N-glycosylated RhSP-D mutants, however, did not show increased neutralization activity against IAV. By developing RhSP-D mutants that also have the pSP-D-specific Ser-Gly-Ala loop inserted in the CRD, we could demonstrate that the N-linked glycan-mediated interactions between pSP-D and IAV involves additional structural prerequisites of the pSP-D CRD. Ultimately, these studies will help to develop highly effective SP-D-based therapeutic and prophylactic drugs against IAV.

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