We identified an alternatively-spliced surfactant protein B (SP-B) mRNA from normal human lung with a 12 nt deletion at the beginning of exon 8. This deletion causes a loss of four amino acids in the SP-B precursor protein, Sequence comparison of the 3' splice sites reveals only one difference in the frequency of U/C in the 11 predominantly-pyrimidine nucleotide tract, 73% for the normal and 45% for the alternatively-spliced SP-B mRNA (77-99% for the consensus sequence). Analysis of SP-B mRNA in lung indicates that the abundance of the alternatively-spliced form is very low and varies among individuals. Although the relative abundance of the deletion form of SP-B mRNA remains constant among normal lungs, it is found with relatively higher abundance in the lungs of some individuals with diseases such as congenital alveolar proteinosis, respiratory distress syndrome, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, alveolar capillary dysplasia and hypophosphatasia. This observation points to the possibility that the alternative splicing is a potential regulatory mechanism of SP-B and may play a role in the pathogenesis of disease under certain circumstances.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology