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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Mar;1831(3):612-25. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2012.09.010. Epub 2012 Sep 29.

Surfactant phospholipid metabolism.

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Department of Medicine, Acute Lung Injury Center of Excellence, the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


Pulmonary surfactant is essential for life and is composed of a complex lipoprotein-like mixture that lines the inner surface of the lung to prevent alveolar collapse at the end of expiration. The molecular composition of surfactant depends on highly integrated and regulated processes involving its biosynthesis, remodeling, degradation, and intracellular trafficking. Despite its multicomponent composition, the study of surfactant phospholipid metabolism has focused on two predominant components, disaturated phosphatidylcholine that confers surface-tension lowering activities, and phosphatidylglycerol, recently implicated in innate immune defense. Future studies providing a better understanding of the molecular control and physiological relevance of minor surfactant lipid components are needed. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Phospholipids and Phospholipid Metabolism.

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