Browsing by Author "Pérez-Gil, Jesús"
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PublicationA model for the structure and mechanism of action of pulmonary surfactant protein B(Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 2017) Olmeda Lozano, Bárbara; García Álvarez, Begoña; Gómez, Manuel J.; Martínez Calle, Marta; Cruz Rodríguez, Antonio; Pérez-Gil, JesúsSurfactant protein B (SP-B), from the saposin-like family of proteins, is essential to facilitate the formation and proper performance of surface active films at the air-liquid interface of mammalian lungs, and lack of or deficiency in this protein is associated with lethal respiratory failure. Despite its importance, neither a structuralmodel nor amolecular mechanism of SP-B is available. The purpose of the present work was to purify and characterize native SP-B supramolecular assemblies to provide a model supporting structure-function features described for SP-B. Purification of porcine SP-B using detergentsolubilized surfactant reveals the presence of 10 nm ringshaped particles. These rings, observed by atomic force and electron microscopy, would be assembled by oligomerization of SP-B as a multimer of dimers forming a hydrophobically coated ring at the surface of phospholipid membranes or monolayers. Docking of rings from neighboring membranes would lead to formation of SP-B–based hydrophobic tubes, competent to facilitate the rapid flow of surface active lipids both between membranes and between surfactant membranes and the interface. A similar sequential assembly of dimers, supradimeric oligomers and phospholipid-loaded tubes could explain the activity of other saposins with colipase, cytolysin, or antibiotic activities, offering a common framework to understand the range of functions carried out by saposins.—Olmeda, B., García-Álvarez, B., Gómez, M. J., Martínez-Calle, M., Cruz, A., Perez-Gil, J. A model for the structure and mechanism of action of pulmonary surfactant protein B. FASEB J. 29, 4236–4247 (2015). www.fasebj.org PublicationA noninvasive surfactant adsorption test predicting the need for surfactant therapy in preterm infants treated with continuous positive airway pressure(Elsevier, 2017-03) Autilio, Chiara; Echaide Torreguitar, Mercedes; Benachi, Alexandra; Marfaing-Koka, Anne; Capoluongo, Ettore D.; Pérez-Gil, Jesús; De Lucca, DanieleObjective: To determine the diagnostic accuracy of the surfactant adsorption test (SAT) as a predictor for the need for surfactant replacement therapy in neonates with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). Study design Amniotic fluid samples were collected from 41 preterm neonates with RDS treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and 15 healthy control term neonates. Purified porcine surfactant served as a further control. Lamellar bodies and lung ultrasound score were also measured in a subset of the neonates treated with CPAP. Surfactant was administered according to the European guidelines, and clinical data were collected prospectively. Surfactant activity was measured as adsorption at the air/liquid interface and given in relative fluorescent units (RFU). Results: Surfactant activity differed among native porcine surfactant (median, 4863 RFU; IQR, 4405-5081 RFU), healthy term neonates (median, 2680 RFU; IQR, 2069-3050 RFU), and preterm neonates with RDS (median, 442 RFU; IQR, 92-920 RFU; P < .0001). The neonates who failed CPAP had lower surfactant activity compared with those who did not fail CPAP (median, 92 RFU; IQR, 0-315 RFU vs 749 RFU; IQR, 360-974 RFU; P = .0002). Differences between groups were more evident beyond 20-30 minutes of fluorescence; the 30-minute time point showed the highest area under the curve (0.84; P < .001) and the best cutoff level (170 RFU; specificity, 72%; sensitivity, 96%) for the prediction of CPAP failure. Surfactant activity at 30 minutes was significantly correlated with lamellar bodies (r = 0.51, P = .006) and lung ultrasound score (r = -0.39, P = .013). Conclusion: This technique has the potential to be developed into a fast, simple-to-interpret clinical test. The SAT can reliably identify preterm infants with subsequent CPAP failure and shows promise as a screening test for surfactant replacement in preterm neonates. PublicationA small key unlocks a heavy door: the essential function of the small hydrophobic proteins SP-B and SP-C to trigger adsorption of pulmonary surfactant lamellar bodies(Elsevier, 2016-08) Hobi, Nina; Giolabi, Michael; Olmeda Lozano, Bárbara; Miklavc, Pika; Felder, Edward; Walter, Paul; Dietl, Paul; Frick, Manfred; Pérez-Gil, Jesús; Haller, ThomasThe molecular basis involving adsorption of pulmonary surfactant at the respiratory air–liquid interface and the specific roles of the surfactant proteins SP-B and SP-C in this process have not been completely resolved. The reasons might be found in the largely unknown structural assembly in which surfactant lipids and proteins are released from alveolar type II cells, and the difficulties to sample, manipulate and visualize the adsorption of these micron-sized particles at an air–liquid interface under appropriate physiological conditions. Here, we introduce several approaches to overcome these problems. First, by immunofluorescence we could demonstrate the presence of SP-B and SP-C on the surface of exocytosed surfactant particles. Second, by sampling the released particles and probing their adsorptive capacity we could demonstrate a remarkably high rate of interfacial adsorption, whose rate and extent was dramatically affected by treatment with antibodies against SP-B and SP-C. The effect of both antibodies was additive and specific. Third, direct microscopy of an inverted air–liquid interface revealed that the blocking effect is due to a stabilization of the released particles when contacting the air–liquid interface, precluding their transformation and the formation of surface films. We conclude that SP-B and SP-C are acting as essential, preformed molecular keys in the initial stages of surfactant unpacking and surface film formation. We further propose that surfactant activation might be transduced by a conformational change of the surfactant proteins upon contact with surface forces acting on the air–liquid interface. PublicationAging impairs alveolar epithelial type II cell function in acute lung injury(American Physiological Society, 2020-10-14) Yazicioglu, Tolga; Mühlfeld, Christian; Autilio, Chiara; Huang, Cheng-Kai; Bär, Christian; Dittrich-Breiholz, Oliver; Thum, Thomas; Pérez-Gil, Jesús; Schmiedl, Andreas; Brandenberger, ChristinaMorbidity and mortality rates in acute lung injury (ALI) increase with age. As alveolar epithelial type II cells (AE2) are crucial for lung function and repair, we hypothesized that aging promotes senescence in AE2 and contributes to the severity and impaired regeneration in ALI. ALI was induced with 2.5 μg lipopolysaccharide/g body weight in young (3 mo) and old (18 mo) mice that were euthanized 24 h, 72 h, and 10 days later. Lung function, pulmonary surfactant activity, stereology, cell senescence, and single-cell RNA sequencing analyses were performed to investigate AE2 function in aging and ALI. In old mice, surfactant activity was severely impaired. A 60% mortality rate and lung function decline were observed in old, but not in young, mice with ALI. AE2 of young mice adapted to injury by increasing intracellular surfactant volume and proliferation rate. In old mice, however, this adaptive response was compromised, and AE2 of old mice showed signs of cell senescence, increased inflammatory signaling, and impaired surfactant metabolism in ALI. These findings provide evidence that ALI promotes a limited proliferation rate, increased inflammatory response, and surfactant dysfunction in old, but not in young, mice, supporting an impaired regenerative capacity and reduced survival rate in ALI with advancing age. PublicationAir Space Distension Precedes Spontaneous Fibrotic Remodeling and Impaired Cholesterol Metabolism in the Absence of Surfactant Protein C(American Thoracic Society, 2020-01-10) Ruwisch, Jannik; Sehlmeyer, Kirsten; Roldán López, Nuria; García Álvarez, Begoña; Pérez-Gil, Jesús; Weaver, Timothy E.; Ochs, Matthias; Knudsen, Lars; López-Rodríguez, ElenaSurfactant protein (SP)-C deficiency is found in samples from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, especially in familial forms of this disease. We hypothesized that SP-C may contribute to fibrotic remodeling in aging mice and alveolar lipid homeostasis. For this purpose, we analyzed lung function, alveolar dynamics, lung structure, collagen content, and expression of genes related to lipid and cholesterol metabolism of aging SP-C knockout mice. In addition, in vitro experiments with an alveolar macrophage cell line exposed to lipid vesicles with or without cholesterol and/or SP-C were performed. Alveolar dynamics showed progressive alveolar derecruitment with age and impaired oxygen saturation. Lung structure revealed that decreasing volume density of alveolar spaces was accompanied by increasing of the ductal counterparts. Simultaneously, septal wall thickness steadily increased, and fibrotic wounds appeared in lungs from the age of 50 weeks. This remarkable phenotype is unique to the 129Sv strain, which has an increased absorption of cholesterol, linking the accumulation of cholesterol and the absence of SP-C to a fibrotic remodeling process. The findings of this study suggest that overall loss of SP-C results in an age-dependent, complex, heterogeneous phenotype characterized by a combination of overdistended air spaces and fibrotic wounds that resembles combined emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Addition of SP-C to cholesterol-laden lipid vesicles enhanced the expression of cholesterol metabolism and transport genes in an alveolar macrophage cell line, identifying a potential new lipid–protein axis involved in lung remodeling. PublicationBarrier or carrier? Pulmonary surfactant and drug delivery(Elsevier, 2015-09) Hidalgo Román, Alberto; Cruz Rodríguez, Antonio; Pérez-Gil, JesúsTo consider the lung as a target for drug delivery and to optimise strategies directed at the pulmonary route, it is essential to consider the role of pulmonary surfactant, a thin lipid–protein film lining the respiratory surface of mammalian lungs. Membrane-based surfactant multilayers are essential for reducing the surface tension at the respiratory air–liquid interface to minimise the work of breathing. Different components of surfactant are also responsible for facilitating the removal of potentially pathological entities such as microorganisms, allergens or environmental pollutants and particles. Upon inhalation, drugs or nanoparticles first contact the surfactant layer, and these interactions critically affect their lifetime and fate in the airways. This review summarises the current knowledge on the possible role and effects of the pulmonary surfactant system in drug delivery strategies. It also summarises the evidence that suggests that pulmonary surfactant is far from being an insuperable barrier and could be used as an efficient shuttle for delivering hydrophobic and hydrophilic compounds deep into the lung and the organism. PublicationBio-inspired materials in drug delivery: Exploring the role of pulmonary surfactant in siRNA inhalation therapy(Elsevier, 2015) Backer, Lynn de; Cerrada, Alejandro; Pérez-Gil, Jesús; Smedt, Stefaan C. de; Raemdonck, KoenMany pathologies of the respiratory tract are inadequately treated with existing small molecule-based therapies. The emergence of RNA interference (RNAi) enables the post-transcriptional silencing of key molecular disease factors that cannot readily be targeted with conventional small molecule drugs. Pulmonary administration of RNAi effectors, such as small interfering RNA (siRNA), allows direct delivery into the lung tissue, hence reducing systemic exposure. Unfortunately, the clinical translation of RNAi is severely hampered by inefficient delivery of siRNA therapeutics towards the cytoplasm of the target cells. In order to have a better control of the siRNA delivery process, both extra- and intracellular, siRNAs are typically formulated in nanosized delivery vehicles (nanoparticles, NPs). In the lower airways, which are the targeted sites of action for multiple pulmonary disorders, these siRNA-loaded NPs will encounter the pulmonary surfactant (PS) layer, covering the entire alveolar surface. The interaction between the instilled siRNA-loaded NPs and the PS at this nano-bio interface results in the adsorption of PS components onto the surface of the NPs. The formation of this so-called biomolecular corona conceals the original NP surface and will therefore profoundly determine the biological efficacy of the NP. Though this interplay has initially been regarded as a barrier towards efficient siRNA delivery to the respiratory target cell, recent reports have illustrated that the interaction with PS might also be beneficial for local pulmonary siRNA delivery. PublicationBiophysical and biological impact on the structure and IgE-binding of the interaction of the olive pollen allergen Ole e 7 with lipids(Elsevier, 2020-03-04) Oeo-Santos, Carmen; López Rodríguez, Juan C.; García-Mouton, Cristina; San Segundo-Acosta, Pablo; Jurado, Aurora; Moreno-Aguilar, Carmen; García-Álvarez, Begoña; Pérez-Gil, Jesús; Villalba, Mayte; Barderas Manchado, Rodrigo; Cruz Rodríguez, AntonioOle e 7 allergen from Olea europaea pollen possesses a major clinical relevance because it produces severe symptoms, such as anaphylaxis, in allergic patients exposed to high olive pollen counts. Ole e 7 is a non-specific lipid transfer protein (nsLTP) characterized by the presence of a tunnel-like hydrophobic cavity, which may be suitable for hosting and, thus, transporting lipids -as it has been described for other nsLTPs-. The identification of the primary amino acid sequence of Ole e 7, and its production as a recombinant allergen, allowed characterizing its lipid-binding properties and its effect at air-liquid interfaces. Fluorescence and interferometry experiments were performed using different phospholipid molecular species and free fatty acids to analyse the lipid-binding ability and specificity of the allergen. Molecular modelling of the allergen was used to determine the potential regions involved in lipid interaction. Changes in Ole e 7 structure after lipid interaction were analysed by circular dichroism. Changes in the IgE binding upon ligand interaction were determined by ELISA. Wilhelmy balance measurements and fluorescence surfactant adsorption tests were performed to analyse the surface activity of the allergen. Using these different approaches, we have demonstrated the ability of Ole e 7 to interact and bind to a wide range of lipids, especially negatively charged phospholipids and oleic acid. We have also identified the protein structural regions and the residues potentially involved in that interaction, suggesting how lipid-protein interactions could define the behaviour of the allergen once inhaled at the airways. PublicationComposition, structure and mechanical properties define performance of pulmonary surfactant membranes and films(Elsevier, 2015-01) Parra, Elisa; Pérez-Gil, JesúsThe respiratory surface in the mammalian lung is stabilized by pulmonary surfactant, a membrane-based system composed of multiple lipids and specific proteins, the primary function of which is to minimize the surface tension at the alveolar air–liquid interface, optimizing the mechanics of breathing and avoiding alveolar collapse, especially at the end of expiration. The goal of the present review is to summarize current knowledge regarding the structure, lipid–protein interactions and mechanical features of surfactant membranes and films and how these properties correlate with surfactant biological function inside the lungs. Surfactant mechanical properties can be severely ompromised by different agents, which lead to surfactant inhibition and ultimately contributes to the development of pulmonary disorders and pathologies in newborns, children and adults. A detailed comprehension of the unique mechanical and rheological properties of surfactant layers is crucial for the diagnostics and treatment of lung diseases, either by analyzing the contribution of surfactant impairment to the pathophysiology or by improving the formulations in surfactant replacement therapies. Finally, a short review is also included on the most relevant experimental techniques currently employed to evaluate lung surfactant mechanics, rheology, and inhibition and reactivation processes. PublicationConformational stability of the NH2-Terminal propeptide of the precursor of pulmonary surfactant protein SP-B(Plublic Library of Science (PLOS), 2016-07-05) Bañares Hidalgo, Ángeles; Pérez-Gil, Jesús; Estrada, PilarAssembly of pulmonary surfactant lipid-protein complexes depends on conformational changes coupled with proteolytic maturation of proSP-B, the precursor of pulmonary surfactant protein B (SP-B), along the surfactant biogenesis pathway in pneumocytes. Conformational destabilization of the N-terminal propeptide of proSP-B (SP-BN) triggers exposure of the mature SP-B domain for insertion into surfactant lipids. We have studied the conformational stability during GdmCl- or urea-promoted unfolding of SP-BN with trp fluorescence and circular dichroism spectroscopies. Binding of the intermediate states to bis-ANS suggests their molten globule-like character. ΔG0 H2O was ~ 12.7 kJ mol-1 either with urea or GdmCl. None of the thermal transitions of SP-BN detected by CD correspond to protein unfolding. Differential scanning calorimetry of SP-BN evidenced two endothermic peaks involved in oligomer dissociation as confirmed with 2 M urea. Ionic strength was relevant since at 150 mM NaCl, the process originating the endotherm at the highest temperature was irreversible (Tm2 = 108.5°C) with an activation energy of 703.8 kJ mol-1. At 500 mM NaCl the process became reversible (Tm2 = 114.4°C) and data were fitted to the Non-two States model with two subpeaks. No free thiols in the propeptide could be titrated by DTNB with or without 5.7 M GdmCl, indicating disulfide bonds establishment. PublicationDissecting the Polyhydroxyalkanoate-binding domain of the PhaF Phasin: rational design of a minimized affinity tag(American Society for Microbiology, 2020-06-02) Mato, Aranzazu; Blanco, Francisco G.; Maestro, Beatriz; Sanz, Jesús M.; Pérez-Gil, Jesús; Prieto, M. AuxiliadoraPhasin PhaF from Pseudomonas putida consists of a modular protein whose N-terminal domain (BioF) has been demonstrated to be responsible for binding to the polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) granule. BioF has been exploited for biotechnological purposes as an affinity tag in the functionalization of PHA beads with fusion proteins both in vivo and in vitro. The structural model of this domain suggests an amphipathic -helical conformation with the hydrophobic residues facing the PHA granule. In this work, we analyzed the mean hydrophobicity and the hydrophobic moment of the native BioF tag to rationally design shorter versions that maintain affinity for the granule. Hybrid proteins containing the green fluorescent protein (GFP) fused to the BioF derivatives were studied for in vivo localization on PHA, stability on the surface of the PHA granule against pH, temperature, and ionic strength, and their possible influence on PHA synthesis. Based on the results obtained, a minimized BioF tag for PHA functionalization has been proposed (MinP) that retains similar binding properties but possesses an attractive biotechnological potential derived from its reduced size. The MinP tag was further validated by analyzing the functionality and stability of the fusion proteins MinP–-galactosidase and MinP-CueO from Escherichia coli. PublicationDivide & Conquer: surfactant protein SP-C and cholesterol modulate phase segregation in lung surfactant(Elsevier, 2017-08-22) Roldán López, Nuria; Pérez-Gil, Jesús; Morrow, Michael R.; García Álvarez, BegoñaLung surfactant (LS) is an essential system supporting the respiratory function. Cholesterol can be deleterious for LS function, a condition that is reversed by the presence of the lipopeptide SP-C. In this work, the structure of LS-mimicking membranes has been analyzed under the combined effect of SP-C and cholesterol by deuterium NMR and phosphorus NMR and by electron spin resonance. Our results show that SP-C induces phase segregation at 37ºC, resulting in an ordered phase with spectral features resembling an interdigitated state enriched in dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine, a liquid-crystalline bilayer phase, and an extremely mobile phase consistent with small vesicles or micelles. In the presence of cholesterol, POPC and POPG motion seem to be more hindered by SP-C than dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine. The use of deuterated cholesterol did not show signs of specific interactions that could be attributed to SP-C or to the other hydrophobic surfactant protein SP-B. Palmitoylation of SP-C had an indirect effect on the extent of protein-lipid perturbations by stabilizing SP-C structure, and seemed to be important to maximize differences among the lipids participating in each phase. These results shed some light on how SP-C-induced lipid perturbations can alter membrane structure to sustain LS functionality at the air-liquid interface. PublicationEffect of lung surfactant Protein SP-C and SP-C-Promoted membrane fragmentation on cholesterol dynamics(Biophysical Society, 2016-10-18) Roldán López, Nuria; Nyholm, Thomas K. M.; Slotte, J. Peter; Pérez-Gil, Jesús; García Álvarez, BegoñaTo allow breathing and prevent alveolar collapse, lung surfactant (LS) develops a complex membranous system at the respiratory surface. LS is defined by a specific protein and lipid composition, including saturated and unsaturated phospholipid species and cholesterol. Surfactant protein C (SP-C) has been suggested to be an essential element for sustaining the presence of cholesterol in surfactant without functional impairment. In this work, we used a fluorescent sterol-partitioning assay to assess the effect of the surfactant proteins SP-B and SP-C on cholesterol distribution in membranes. Our results suggest that in the LS context, the combined action of SP-B and SP-C appears to facilitate cholesterol dynamics, whereas SP-C does not seem to establish a direct interaction with cholesterol that could increase the partition of free cholesterol into membranes. Interestingly, SP-C exhibits a membrane-fragmentation behavior, leading to the conversion of large unilamellar vesicles into highly curved vesicles ~25 nm in diameter. Sterol partition was observed to be sensitive to the bending of bilayers, indicating that the effect of SP-C to mobilize cholesterol could be indirectly associated with SP-C-mediated membrane remodeling. Our results suggest a potential role for SP-C in generating small surfactant structures that may participate in cholesterol mobilization and pulmonary surfactant homeostasis at the alveolar interfaces. PublicationEffects of HIV-1 gp41-Derived Virucidal Peptides on Virus-like Lipid Membranes(Biophysical Society, 2017-09-19) Carravilla, Pablo; Cruz Rodríguez, Antonio; Martín-Ugarte, Itziar; Oar-Arteta, Itziar R.; Torralba, Johanna; Apellaniz, Beatriz; Pérez-Gil, Jesús; Requejo Isidro, José; Huarte, Nerea; Nieva, José L.Membrane fusion induced by the envelope glycoprotein enables the intracellular replication of HIV-1; hence, this process constitutes a major target for antiretroviral compounds. It has been proposed that peptides having propensity to interact with membrane interfaces might exert broad antiviral activity against enveloped viruses. To test this hypothesis, in this contribution we have analyzed the antiviral effects of peptides derived from the membrane-proximal external region and the transmembrane domain of the envelope glycoprotein subunit gp41, which display different degrees of interfacial hydrophobicity. Our data support the virucidal activity of a region that combines hydrophobic-at-interface membrane-proximal external region aromatics with hydrophobic residues of the transmembrane domain, and contains the absolutely conserved 679LWYIK/R683 sequence, proposed to embody a ‘‘cholesterol recognition/interaction amino acid consensus’’ motif. We further sought to correlate the antiviral activity of these peptides and their effects on membranes that mimic lipid composition and biophysical properties of the viral envelope. The data revealed that peptides endowed with virucidal activity were membrane active and induced permeabilization and fusion of virus-like lipid vesicles. In addition, they modulated lipid packing and miscibility of laterally segregated liquid domains, two properties that depend on the high cholesterol content of the viral membrane. Thus, the overall experimental evidence is consistent with a pattern of HIV inhibition that involves direct alteration of the physical chemistry of the virus membrane. Furthermore, the sequence-dependent effects observed might guide the development of new virucidal peptides. PublicationEfficient interfacially driven vehiculization of corticosteroids by pulmonary surfactant(American Chemical Society, 2017) Hidalgo, Alberto; Salomone, Fabrizio; Fresno, Nieves; Orellana Moraleda, Guillermo; Cruz Rodríguez, Antonio; Pérez-Gil, JesúsPulmonary surfactant is a crucial system to stabilize the respiratory air-liquid interface. Furthermore, pulmonary surfactant has been proposed as an effective method for targeting drugs to the lungs. However, few studies have examined in detail the mechanisms of incorporation of drugs into surfactant, the impact of the presence of drugs on pulmonary surfactant performance at the interface under physiologically meaningful conditions, or the ability of pulmonary surfactant to use the air-liquid interface to vehiculise drugs to long distances. This study focuses on the ability of pulmonary surfactant to interfacially vehiculize corticosteroids such as beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) or Budesonide (BUD) as model drugs. The main objectives have been to (a) characterize the incorporation of corticosteroids into natural and synthetic surfactants, (b) evaluate whether the presence of corticosteroids affects surfactant functionality, and (c) determine whether surfactant preparations enable the efficient spreading and distribution of BDP and BUD along the air-liquid interface. We have compared the performance of a purified surfactant from porcine lungs and two clinical surfactants: Poractant alfa, a natural surfactant of animal origin extensively used to treat premature babies, and CHF5633, a new synthetic surfactant preparation currently under clinical trials. Both, natural and clinical surfactants spontaneously incorporated corticosteroids up to at least 10% by mass with respect to phospholipid content. The presence of the drugs did not interfere with their ability to efficiently adsorb into air-liquid interfaces and form surface active films able to reach and sustain very low surface tensions (<2 mN/m) under compression-expansion cycling mimicking breathing dynamics. Furthermore, the combination of clinical surfactant with corticosteroids efficiently promoted the active diffusion of the drug to long distances along the air-liquid interface. This effect could not be mimicked by vehiculisation of corticosteroids in liposomes or in micellar emulsions similar to the formulations currently in use to deliver anti-inflammatory corticosteroids through inhalation. PublicationFunctional characterization of the different oligomeric forms of human surfactant protein SP-D(Elsevier, 2020-04-20) Arroyo, Raquel; Echaide Torreguitar, Mercedes; Moreno Herrero, Fernando; Pérez-Gil, Jesús; Kingma, Paul S.Surfactant Protein D (SP-D) is a collectin protein that participates in the innate immune defense of the lungs. SPD mediates the clearance of invading microorganisms by opsonization, aggregation or direct killing, which are lately removed by macrophages. SP-D is found as a mixture of trimers, hexamers, dodecamers and higher order oligomers, “fuzzy balls”. However, it is unknown whether there are differences between these oligomeric forms in functions, activity or potency. In the present work, we have obtained fractions enriched in trimers, hexamers and fuzzy balls of full-length recombinant human (rh) SP-D by size exclusion chromatography, in a sufficient amount to perform functional assays. We have evaluated the differences in protein lectin-dependent activity relative to aggregation and binding to E. coli, one of the ligands of SP-D in vivo. Fuzzy balls are the most active oligomeric form in terms of binding and aggregation of bacteria, achieving 2-fold binding higher than hexamers and 50% bacteria aggregation at very short times. Hexamers, recently described as a defined oligomeric form of the protein, have never been isolated or tested in terms of protein activity. rhSP-D hexamers efficiently bind and aggregate bacteria, achieving 50–60% aggregation at final time point and high protein concentrations. Nevertheless, trimers are not able to aggregate bacteria, although they bind to them. Therefore, SP-D potency, in functions that relay on the C-lectin activity of the protein, is proportional to the oligomeric state of the protein. PublicationFunctional organization of the HIV lipid envelope(Nature Publishing Group, 2016) Huarte, Nerea; Carravilla, Pablo; Cruz Rodríguez, Antonio; Lorizate, Maier; Nieto-Garay, Jon A.; Kräusslich, Hans-Georg; Pérez-Gil, Jesús; Requejo Isidro, José; Nieva, José L.The chemical composition of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) membrane is critical for fusion and entry into target cells, suggesting that preservation of a functional lipid bilayer organization may be required for efficient infection. HIV-1 acquires its envelope from the host cell plasma membrane at sites enriched in raft-type lipids. Furthermore, infectious particles display aminophospholipids on their surface, indicative of dissipation of the inter-leaflet lipid asymmetry metabolically generated at cellular membranes. By combining two-photon excited Laurdan fluorescence imaging and atomic force microscopy, we have obtained unprecedented insights into the phase state of membranes reconstituted from viral lipids (i.e., extracted from infectious HIV-1 particles), established the role played by the different specimens in the mixtures, and characterized the effects of membrane-active virucidal agents on membrane organization. In determining the molecular basis underlying lipid packing and lateral heterogeneity of the HIV-1 membrane, our results may help develop compounds with antiviral activity acting by perturbing the functional organization of the lipid envelope. PublicationHuman amniotic membrane as newly identifed source of amniotic fuid pulmonary surfactant(Nature Publishing Group, 2017-07-25) Lemke, Angela; Castillo-Sánchez, José Carlos; Prodinger, Florian; Ceranic, Asja; Hennerbichler-Lugscheider, Simone; Pérez-Gil, Jesús; Redl, Heinz; Wolbank, SusannePulmonary surfactant (PS) reduces surface tension at the air-liquid interface in the alveolar epithelium of the lung, which is required for breathing and for the pulmonary maturity of the developing foetus. However, the origin of PS had never been thoroughly investigated, although it was assumed to be secreted from the foetal developing lung. Human amniotic membrane (hAM), particularly its epithelial cell layer, composes the amniotic sac enclosing the amniotic fuid. In this study, we therefore aimed to investigate a potential contribution of the cellular components of the hAM to pulmonary surfactant found in amniotic fuid. We identifed that cells within the native membrane contain lamellar bodies and express all four surfactant proteins as well as ABCA3. Lipidomic profling by nanoESI – MS/MS revealed the presence of the essential lipid species as found in PS. Also, the biophysical activity of conditioned cell culture supernatant obtained from hAM was tested with captive bubble surfactometry. hAM supernatant showed the ability to reduce surface tension, similar to human PS obtained from bronchoalveolar lavage. This means that hAM produces the essential PS-associated components and can therefore contribute as second potential source of PS in amniotic fuid aside from the foetal lung. PublicationHuman Pulmonary Surfactant Protein SP-A1 provides maximal efficiency of lung interfacial films(Biophysical Society, 2016-08) López-Rodríguez, Elena; Pascual, Alicia; Arroyo, Raquel; Floros, Joanna; Pérez-Gil, JesúsPulmonary surfactant is a lipoprotein complex that reduces surface tension to prevent alveolar collapse and contributes to the protection of the respiratory surface from the entry of pathogens. Surfactant protein A (SP-A) is a hydrophilic glycoprotein of the collectin family, and its main function is related to host defense. However, previous studies have shown that SP-A also aids in the formation and biophysical properties of pulmonary surfactant films at the air-water interface. Humans, unlike rodents, have two genes, SFTPA1 and SFTPA2. The encoded proteins, SP-A1 and SP-A2, differ quantitatively or qualitatively in function. It has been shown that both gene products are necessary for tubular myelin formation, an extracellular structural form of lung surfactant. The goal of this study was to investigate potential differences in the biophysical properties of surfactants containing human SP-A1, SP-A2, or both. For this purpose, we have studied for the first time, to our knowledge, the biophysical properties of pulmonary surfactant from individual humanized transgenic mice expressing human SP-A1, SP-A2, or both SP-A1 and SP-A2, in the captive bubble surfactometer. We observed that pulmonary surfactant containing SP-A1 reaches lower surface tension after postexpansion interfacial adsorption than surfactants containing no SP-A or only SP-A2. Under interfacial compression-expansion cycling conditions, surfactant films containing SP-A1 also performed better, particularly with respect to the reorganization of the films that takes place during compression. On the other hand, addition of recombinant SP-A1 to a surfactant preparation reconstituted from the hydrophobic fraction of a porcine surfactant made it more resistant to inhibition by serum than the addition of equivalent amounts of SP-A2. We conclude that the presence of SP-A1 allows pulmonary surfactant to adopt a particularly favorable structure with optimal biophysical properties. PublicationIn Vitro functional and structural characterization of a synthetic clinical pulmonary surfactant with enhanced resistance to inhibition(Nature Research, 2020-01-28) Echaide Torreguitar, Mercedes; Autilio, Chiara; López-Rodríguez, Elena; Cruz Rodríguez, Antonio; Pérez-Gil, JesúsCHF5633 is a novel synthetic clinical pulmonary surfactant preparation composed by two phospholipid species, dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPPC) and palmitoyloleoyl phosphatidylglycerol (POPG), and synthetic analogues of the hydrophobic surfactant proteins SP-B and SP-C. In this study, the interfacial properties of CHF5633 in the absence and in the presence of inhibitory serum proteins have been assessed in comparison with a native surfactant purifed from porcine lungs and with poractant alpha, a widely used clinical surfactant preparation. The study of the spreading properties of CHF5633 in a Wilhelmy balance, its ability to adsorb and accumulate at air-liquid interfaces as revealed by a multiwell fuorescence assay, and its dynamic behavior under breathing-like compression-expansion cycling in a Captive Bubble Surfactometer (CBS), all revealed that CHF5633 exhibits a good behavior to reduce and sustain surface tensions to values below 5 mN/m. CHF5633 shows somehow slower initial interfacial adsorption than native surfactant or poractant alpha, but a better resistance to inhibition by serum proteins than the animal-derived clinical surfactant, comparable to that of the full native surfactant complex. Interfacial CHF5633 flms formed in a Langmuir-Blodgett balance coupled with epifuorescence microscopy revealed similar propensity to segregate condensed lipid domains under compression than flms made by native porcine surfactant or poractant alpha. This ability of CHF5633 to segregate condensed lipid phases can be related with a marked thermotropic transition from ordered to disordered membrane phases as exhibited by diferential scanning calorimetry (DSC) of CHF5633 suspensions, occurring at similar temperatures but with higher associated enthalpy than that shown by poractant alpha. The good interfacial behavior of CHF5633 tested under physiologically meaningful conditions in vitro and its higher resistance to inactivation by serum proteins, together with its standardized and well-defned composition, makes it a particularly useful therapeutic preparation to be applied in situations associated with lung infammation and edema, alone or in combined strategies to exploit surfactant-facilitated drug delivery.