Microfibril-associated Protein 4 Binds to Surfactant Protein A (SP-A) and Colocalizes with SP-A in the Extracellular Matrix of the Lung

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Abstract

Pulmonary surfactant protein A (SP-A) is an oligomeric collectin that recognizes lipid and carbohydrate moieties present on broad range of micro-organisms, and mediates microbial lysis and clearance. SP-A also modulates multiple immune-related functions including cytokine production and chemotaxis for phagocytes. Here we describe the molecular interaction between the extracellular matrix protein microfibril-associated protein 4 (MFAP4) and SP-A. MFAP4 is a collagen-binding molecule containing a C-terminal fibrinogen-like domain and a N-terminal located integrin-binding motif. We produced recombinant MFAP4 with a molecular mass of 36 and 66 kDa in the reduced and unreduced states respectively. Gel filtration chromatography and chemical crosslinking showed that MFAP4 forms oligomers of four dimers. We demonstrated calcium-dependent binding between MFAP4 and human SP-A1 and SP-A2. No binding was seen to recombinant SP-A composed of the neck region and carbohydrate recognition domain of SP-A indicating that the interaction between MFAP4 and SP-A is mediated via the collagen domain of SP-A. Monoclonal antibodies directed against MFAP4 and SP-A were used for immunohistochemical analysis, which demonstrates that the two molecules colocalize both on the elastic fibres in the interalveolar septum and in elastic lamina of pulmonary arteries of chronically inflamed lung tissue. We conclude, that MFAP4 interacts with SP-A via the collagen region in vitro, and that MFAP4 and SP-A colocates in different lung compartments indicating that the interaction may be operative in vivo.

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