Human pulmonary surfactant protein D (SP-D) was identified in lung lavage by its similarity to rat SP-D in both its molecular mass and its Ca(2+)-dependent-binding affinity for maltose [Persson, Chang & Crouch (1990) J. Biol. Chem. 265, 5755-5760]. For structural studies, human SP-D was isolated from amniotic fluid by affinity chromatography on maltose-Sepharose followed by f.p.l.c. on Superose 6, which showed it to have a molecular mass of approx. 620 kDa in non-dissociating conditions. On SDS/PAGE the human SP-D behaved as a single band of 150 kDa or 43 kDa in non-reducing or reducing conditions respectively. The presence of a high concentration of glycine (22%), hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine in the amino acid composition of human SP-D indicated that it contained collagen-like structure. Collagenase digestion yielded a 20 kDa collagenase-resistant globular fragment which retained affinity for maltose. Use of maltosyl-BSA as a neoglycoprotein ligand in a solid-phase binding assay showed that human SP-D has a similar carbohydrate-binding specificity to rat SP-D, but a clearly distinct specificity from that of other lectins, such as conglutinin, for a range of simple saccharides. Amino acid sequence analysis established the presence of collagen-like Gly-Xaa-Yaa triplets in human SP-D and also provided sequence data from the globular region of the molecule which was used in the synthesis of oligonucleotide probes. Screening of a human lung cDNA library with the oligonucleotide probes, and also with rabbit anti-(human SP-D), allowed the isolation of two cDNA clones which overlap to give the full coding sequence of human SP-D. The derived amino acid sequence indicates that the mature human SP-D polypeptide chain is 355 residues long, having a short non-collagen-like N-terminal section of 25 residues, followed by a collagen-like region of 177 residues and a C-terminal C-type lectin domain of 153 residues. Comparison of the human SP-D and bovine serum conglutinin amino acid sequences indicated that they showed 66% identity despite their marked differences in carbohydrate specificity.

This content is only available as a PDF.