Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/11902
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Type: Journal article
Title: Conservation of surfactant protein a: evidence for a single origin for vertebrate pulmonary surfactant
Author: Sullivan, Lucy C.
Daniels, Christopher Brian
Phillips, Ian D.
Orgeig, Sandra
Whitsett, Jeffrey A.
Citation: Journal of Molecular Evolution, 1998; 46(46):131-138
Issue Date: 1998
ISSN: 0022-2844
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Lucy C. Sullivan, Christopher B. Daniels, Ian D. Phillips, Sandra Orgeig, Jeffrey A. Whitsett
Abstract: Surface tension is reduced at the air–liquid interface in the lung by a mixture of lipids and proteins termed pulmonary surfactant. This study is the first to provide evidence for the presence of a surfactant-specific protein (Surfactant Protein A—SP-A) in the gas-holding structures of representatives of all the major vertebrate groups. Western blot analysis demonstrated cross-reactivity between an antihuman SP-A antibody and material lavaged from lungs or swimbladders of members from all vertebrate groups. Immunocytochemistry localized this SP-A–like protein to the air spaces of lungs from the actinopterygiian fish and lungfish. Northern blot analysis indicated that regions of the mouse SP-A cDNA sequence are complementary to lung mRNA from all species examined. The presence of an SP-A–like protein and SP-A mRNA in members of all the major vertebrate groups implies that the surfactant system had a single evolutionary origin in the vertebrates. Moreover, the evolution of the surfactant system must have been a prerequisite for the evolution of airbreathing. The presence of SP-A in the goldfish swimbladder demonstrates a role for the surfactant system in an organ that is no longer used for airbreathing.
Keywords: Pulmonary surfactant; Surfactant protein A; Evolution; Vertebrate; Airbreathing; Surface tension
DOI: 10.1007/PL00006287
Appears in Collections:Physiology publications

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