Project: Research project

Project Details


In the alveoli of the lung the surface tension at the air-liquid interface
is lowered by the presence of a lipoprotein complex called pulmonary
surfactant. The importance of pulmonary surfactant becomes evident in the
prematurely born infants deficient in this lipoprotein complex who manifect
respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). Studies suggest that surfactant
proteins may have an important functional role in the lung by enhancing the
rate of surfactant adsorption and spreading movement from the hypophase of
aqueous solutions.

To better understand the role of the surfactant-associated proteins in the
function of pulmonary surfactant, it is of obvious importance to study the
regulation and physiology of these proteins. To address these questions,
ones approach is to develop specific probes for these proteins. We propose
to prepare a complementary DNA (cDNA) expression bank in Lambdagt11 vector
from human lung mRNA. We will screen the bank with a specific antiserum
that recognizes the primary translation products of the surfactant proteins
that is available in our laboratory. With this screening we will be able
to identify cDNA clones for mRNAs encoding surfactant-associated proteins.
Subsequently we plan to use these positive cDNA clones as probes to
identify the molecular components of these proteins (i.e. the number and
size of mRNA sequences coding for these proteins). In addition we will
obtain cDNA probes specific for each mRNA coding for these proteins, which
will be useful to carry out regulatory studies for each molecular component
of these proteins.

The availability of such probes will also permit a) structural studies of
the gene(s) of these proteins that may provide a specific indicator for
prenatal diagnosis of RDS b) regulatory studies of the expression of these
proteins under normal and disease conditions c) in vivo and in vitro
functional studies to better understand the role of these proteins in the
function to surfactant and possibly therapeutic studies.
Effective start/end date4/1/853/31/86


  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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