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Nature. 1985 Sep 26-Oct 2;317(6035):361-3.

Isolation and characterization of the human pulmonary surfactant apoprotein gene.


Pulmonary surfactant is a phospholipid-protein complex which serves to lower the surface tension at the air-liquid interface in the alveoli of the mammalian lung and is essential for normal respiration. Inadequate levels of surfactant at birth, a frequent situation in premature infants, results in respiratory failure. In all species examined, surfactant is composed primarily of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine and two major protein species of relative molecular mass (Mr) 32,000 (32K) and 10K (refs 2-5). Reconstitution in vitro of purified 32K pulmonary surfactant apoprotein (PSAP) with synthetic lipids forms a lipoprotein complex that lowers surface tension by spreading to create a thin interfacial film. Here we describe the cloning of the human PSAP gene and complementary DNA, and discuss features of the unusual encoded protein.

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