Carbohydrate recognition domain of surfactant protein D mediates interactions with Pneumocystis carinii glycoprotein A

Z. Vuk-Pavlovic, J. E. Standing, E. C. Crouch, A. H. Limper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Pneumocystis carinii continues to cause severe pneumonia in immunocompromised patients. Surfactant protein D (SP-D), a lung collectin, markedly accumulates during P. carinii pneumonia and binds to glycoprotein A (gpA) on the surface of P. carinii, thereby enhancing interactions with alveolar macrophages. Herein, we report the structural basis of the interaction of SP-D with gpA. We demonstrate that natural SP-D binds to purified gpA in the presence of 2 mM calcium in a saturable, concentration-dependent manner, which is abolished by 10 mM ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. Increasing concentrations of calcium under otherwise cation-free conditions significantly enhance 5P-D binding to gpA, whereas manganese and magnesium cations have minimal effect. Maximal SP-D binding occurs at pH 7.4, with significant inhibition at pH 4. SP-D binding to gpA is also competitively inhibited by maltose>glucose>mannose>N-acetyl-glucosamine. Comparison of the binding of various natural and recombinant forms of SP-D to gpA reveals that the number of carbohydrate recognition domains (CRDs) in a given SP-D form determines the relative extent of binding to gpA. Maximal binding is observed with natural SP-D (dodecamers and higher order SP-D complexes) followed by recombinant dodecamers. In contrast, recombinant full-length trimers exhibit substantially less binding, which is similar to that observed with a recombinant truncated molecule consisting of the CRD and neck regions, and containing trimers of this portion of the molecule. Taken together, these findings strongly indicate that the CRD of SP-D mediates interaction with P. carinii gpA through its attached oligosaccharides and that the extent of SP-D binding to P. carinii is greatest with dodecamers and higher order forms of SP-D.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-484
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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