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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1998 Nov 19;1408(2-3):323-33.

Genetics of the hydrophobic surfactant proteins.

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Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.


The hydrophobic surfactant proteins, SP-B and SP-C, serve important roles in surfactant function and metabolism. Both proteins are encoded by single genes, located on human chromosomes 2 and 8 respectively, which have been characterized and extensively studied. Mutations in the SP-B gene have been shown to cause severe lung disease, and polymorphisms in the SP-B gene may be associated with the development of RDS in premature infants. In contrast, mutations in the SP-C gene have not yet been identified or shown to cause lung disease, although given the apparent importance of SP-C in surfactant function, this remains a possibility.

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