Primary translation products of pulmonary surfactant protein D

E. Crouch, K. Rust, A. Persson, W. Mariencheck, M. Moxley, W. Longmore

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21 Scopus citations


Surfactant protein D (SP-D) is a collagenous, surfactant-associated, carbohydrate-binding protein that is synthesized by alveolar type II epithelial cells. To further characterize SP-D, we isolated RNA from adult rat lungs and rat type II cells and translated mRNAs in vitro. [35S]methionine-labeled translation products were precipitated with antibodies to rat SP-D, resolved by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and visualized by fluorography. Immune precipitates of translation reactions for rat lung or rat type II cells demonstrated a single collagenous polypeptide (39.3 kDa) that was smaller than surfactant-associated SP-D (43 kDa, reduced) but larger than the mature secreted form of rat SP-A. This component was not identified in translation reactions of rat liver, gut, brain, mammary gland, or rat L2 cell RNA. There was a fivefold enrichment of SP-D mRNA in freshly isolated type II cells relative to lung; however, the levels of translatable SP-D mRNA decreased rapidly during the first 24 h of cell culture. The SP-D translation product migrated faster than the major cellular form of SP-D but ~1 kDa slower than cellular SP-D synthesized in the presence of 2,2'-dipyridyl plus tunicamycin. Translation in the presence of canine pancreatic microsomes gave a single glycosylated, endoglycosidase F-sensitive form (40.6 kDa) and demonstrated cleavage of a small signal peptide. These results indicate that SP-D is a secretory product of differentiated type II epithelial cells and that SP-D is secreted in a mature form that does not undergo further proteolytic processing in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L247-L253
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number4 4-2
StatePublished - 1991


  • Cell-free translation
  • Lung
  • Surfactant
  • Type II cells

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