A point of view: Quantitative and qualitative imbalance in disease pathogenesis; pulmonary surfactant protein A genetic variants as a model

Joanna Floros, Guirong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


The high degree of similarity at the molecular level, between humans and other species, has provided the rationale for the use of a variety of species as model systems in research, resulting in enormous advances in biological sciences and medicine. In contrast, the individual variability observed among humans, for example, in external physique, organ functionality and others, is accounted for, by only a fraction of 1% of differences at the DNA level. These small differences, which are essential for understanding disease pathogenesis, have posed enormous challenges in medicine, as we try to understand why patients may respond differently to drugs or why one patient has complications and another does not. Differences in outcome are most likely the result of interactions among genetic components themselves and/or the environment at the molecular, cellular, organ, or organismal level, or the macroenvironment. In this paper: (1) we consider some issues for multifactorial disease pathogenesis; (2) we provide a review of human SP-A and how the knowledge gained and the characteristics of the hSP-A system may serve as a model in the study of disease with multifactorial etiology; and (3) we describe examples where hSP-A has been used in the study of disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-303
Number of pages9
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2001


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology

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