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J Biol Chem. 1996 Aug 16;271(33):19689-95.

Structural requirements for targeting of surfactant protein B (SP-B) to secretory granules in vitro and in vivo.

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  • 1Division of Pulmonary Biology, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229-3039, USA.


Human surfactant protein B (SP-B) is synthesized by type II cells as a 381-residue preproprotein which is proteolytically processed to a 79-residue mature peptide and targeted to lamellar bodies for secretion. To identify secretory granule targeting determinants, constructs encoding the SP-B preproprotein (SP-B), COOH-terminally deleted SP-B (SP-BDeltaC), the NH2-terminal propeptide (SP-BN), and a chimeric molecule consisting of albumin and the mature peptide (ALB/SP-BM) were transfected into AtT-20 and PC12 cells. Pulse-chase studies demonstrated that 10-30% of SP-B and SP-BDeltaC remained in cells in an endoglycosidase H-resistant form. Secretion of stored SP-B was stimulated by forskolin/12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate and intracellular SP-B was localized to secretory granules by immunoelectron microscopy. In contrast, SP-BN and ALB/SP-BM were constitutively secreted and not detected in secretory granules. Specific processing of SP-B was not detected in either AtT-20 or PC12 cells. Expression of SP-BDeltaC in transgenic mice resulted in secretion of fully processed mature SP-B, indicating correct processing and targeting of this construct in vivo. We conclude that 1) SP-B processing occurs in a cell-specific manner, 2) the proprotein contains secretory granule targeting determinants that are not cell-specific, 3) the NH2-terminal propeptide and the mature peptide are required for targeting SP-B to lamellar body, and 4) the COOH-terminal propeptide is not required for processing or sorting of SP-B.

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