Tadiwos Getachew - October 24

Structural and Functional Insight into Recombinant Lung Surfactant Protein B (rSP-B)

Surfactant associated-protein B (SP-B) is the most essential protein component of lung surfactant; its absence is fatal. Lung surfactant associated proteins, especially SP-B, assist in the organization and rearrangement of the lipid monolayers and multilayers that coat the air-water interface of the alveolus, and so help to reduce the work of breathing and prevent lung collapse. Due to SP-B’s unique hydrophobic nature however, the overall three dimensional structure of the protein is not yet determined, therefore the molecular basis for its activity is not clearly understood. Recently, our lab has managed to produce the protein in bacteria using recombinant DNA technology. Recombinant SP-B (rSP-B) is shown to retain the expected alpha helical conformation in different membrane mimetic conditions, over a range of temperatures as observed by far UV circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) of rSP-B suspended in detergent micelles indicates two populations, one with a hydrodynamic size of ~3 nm and the other at ~100 nm. Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) confirmed the ~100 nm species to be prominent. Preliminary 1D solution NMR experiments have also been carried out. Moreover, rSP-B also shows promising results in in vitro measures of functionality when tested with a Langmuir-Blodgett trough. Lipid films in the presence of rSP-B are able to promote multilayer formation when compressed to a sufficiently high surface pressure, comparable to that of clinical lung surfactants. What is more, films in the presence of rSP-B demonstrate superior compressibility and film recovery when compared to films compressed without rSP-B.

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Biochemistry

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