Person: Pérez Gil, Jesús
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Faculty / Institute
Bioquímica y Biología Molecular
Bioquímica y Biología Molecular
Now showing 1 - 10 of 10
- PublicationStructural hallmarks of lung surfactant: Lipid-protein interactions, membrane structure and future challenges(Elsevier, 2021-03-20) Castillo Sánchez, José Carlos; Cruz Rodríguez, Antonio; Pérez Gil, JesúsLung surfactant (LS) is an outstanding example of how a highly regulated and dynamic membrane-based system has evolved to sustain a wealth of structural reorganizations in order to accomplish its biophysical function, as it coats and stabilizes the respiratory air-liquid interface in the mammalian lung. The present review dissects the complexity of the structure-function relationships in LS through an updated description of the lipid-protein interactions and the membrane structures that sustain its synthesis, secretion, interfacial performance and recycling. We also revise the current models and the biophysical techniques employed to study the membranous architecture of LS. It is important to consider that the structure and functional properties of LS are often studied in bulk or under static conditions, in spite that surfactant function is strongly connected with a highly dynamic behaviour, sustained by very polymorphic structures and lipid-lipid, lipid-protein and protein-protein interactions that reorganize in precise spatio-temporal coordinates. We have tried to underline the evidences available of the existence of such structural dynamism in LS. A last important aspect is that the synthesis and assembly of LS is a strongly regulated intracellular process to ensure the establishment of the proper interactions driving LS surface activity, while protecting the integrity of other cell membranes. The use of simplified lipid models or partial natural materials purified from animal tissues could be too simplistic to understand the true molecular mechanisms defining surfactant function in vivo. In this line, we will bring into the attention of the reader the methodological challenges and the questions still open to understand the structure-function relationships of LS at its full biological relevance.
- PublicationTranslational Biophysics – 20th IUPAB Congress Session Commentary(Springer, 2021-11-19) Pérez Gil, Jesús; Watts, Anthony
- PublicationSurfactant Protein B promotes cytosolic SiRNA delivery by adopting a Virus-like mechanism of action(American Chemical Society, 2021-03-16) Guagliardo, Roberta; Herman, Lore; Penders, Jelle; Zamborlin, Agata; Keersmaecker, Herlinde de; Van de Vyver, Thijs; Verstraeten, Sandrine; Merckx, Pieterjan; Mingeot-Leclercq, Marie-Paule; Echaide Torreguitar, Mercedes; Pérez Gil, Jesús; Stevens, Molly M.; De Smedt, Stefaan; Raemdonck, KoenRNA therapeutics are poised to revolutionize medicine. To unlock the full potential of RNA drugs, safe and efficient (nano)formulations to deliver them inside target cells are required. Endosomal sequestration of nanocarriers represents a major bottleneck in nucleic acid delivery. Gaining more detailed information on the intracellular behavior of RNA nanocarriers is crucial to rationally develop delivery systems with improved therapeutic efficiency. Surfactant protein B (SPB) is a key component of pulmonary surfactant (PS), essential for mammalian breathing. In contrast to the general belief that PS should be regarded as a barrier for inhaled nanomedicines, we recently discovered the ability of SP-B to promote gene silencing by siRNA-loaded and lipid-coated nanogels. However, the mechanisms governing this process are poorly understood. The major objective of this work was to obtain mechanistic insights into the SP-B-mediated cellular delivery of siRNA. To this end, we combined siRNA knockdown experiments, confocal microscopy, and focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy imaging in an in vitro non-small-cell lung carcinoma model with lipid mixing assays on vesicles that mimic the composition of (intra)cellular membranes. Our work highlights a strong correlation between SP-B-mediated fusion with anionic endosomal membranes and cytosolic siRNA delivery, a mode of action resembling that of certain viruses and virus-derived cell-penetrating peptides. Building on these gained insights, we optimized the SP-B proteolipid composition, which dramatically improved delivery efficiency. Altogether, our work provides a mechanistic understanding of SP-B-induced perturbation of intracellular membranes, offering opportunities to fuel the rational design of SP-B-inspired RNA nanoformulations for inhalation therapy.
- PublicationDimerization of the pulmonary surfactant protein C in a membrane environment(Public Library Science, 2022-04-27) Korolainen, Hanna; Lolicato, Fabio; Enkavi, Giray; Pérez Gil, Jesús; Kulig, Waldemar; Vattulainen, IlpoSurfactant protein C (SP-C) has several functions in pulmonary surfactant. These include the transfer of lipids between different membrane structures, a role in surfactant recycling and homeostasis, and involvement in modulation of the innate defense system. Despite these important functions, the structures of functional SP-C complexes have remained unclear. SP-C is known to exist as a primarily α-helical structure with an apparently unstructured N-terminal region, yet there is recent evidence that the functions of SP-C could be associated with the formation of SP-C dimers and higher oligomers. In this work, we used molecular dynamics simulations, two-dimensional umbrella sampling, and well-tempered metadynamics to study the details of SP-C dimerization. The results suggest that SP-C dimerizes in pulmonary surfactant membranes, forming dimers of different topologies. The simulations identified a dimerization motif region V21xxxVxxxGxxxM33 that is much larger than the putative A30xxxG34 motif that is commonly assumed to control the dimerization of some α-helical transmembrane domains. The results provide a stronger basis for elucidating how SP-C functions in concert with other surfactant proteins.
- PublicationCompositional, structural and functional properties of discrete coexisting complexes within bronchoalveolar pulmonary surfactant(Elsevier, 2022-10-20) Castillo Sánchez, José Carlos; Cerrada, Alejandro; Conde, Mikel; Cruz Rodríguez, Antonio; Pérez Gil, JesúsLung surfactant (LS) stabilizes the respiratory surface by forming a film at the alveolar air-liquid interface that reduces surface tension and minimizes the work of breathing. Typically, this surface-active agent has been isolated from animal lungs both for research and biomedical applications. However, these materials are constituted by complex membranous architectures including surface-active and inactive lipid/protein assemblies. In this work, we describe the composition, structure and surface activity of discrete membranous entities that are part of a LS preparation isolated from bronchoalveolar lavages of porcine lungs. Seven different fractions could be resolved from whole surfactant subjected to sucrose density gradient centrifugation. Detailed compositional characterization revealed differences in protein and cholesterol content but no distinct saturated:unsaturated phosphatidylcholine ratios. Moreover, no significant differences were detected regarding apparent hydration at the headgroup region of membranes, as reported by the probe Laurdan, and lipid chain mobility analysed by electron spin resonance (ESR) in spite of the variety of membranous assemblies observed by transmission electron microscopy. In addition, six of the seven separated LS subfractions formed similar, essentially disordered-like, interfacial films and performed efficient surface activity, under physiologically relevant conditions. Altogether, our work show that a LS isolated from porcine lungs is comprised by a heterogenous population of membranous assemblies lacking freshly secreted unused LS complexes sustaining highly dehydrated and ordered membranous assemblies as previously reported. We propose that surfactant subfractions may illustrate intermediates in sequential structural steps within the structural transformations occurring along the respiratory compression-expansion cycles.
- PublicationThe highly packed and dehydrated structure of preformed unexposed human pulmonary surfactant isolated from amniotic fluid(American Physiological Society, 2022-01-20) Castillo Sánchez, José Carlos; Roldán, Nuria; García Álvarez, Begoña; Batllori, Emma; Galindo Izquierdo, Alberto; Cruz Rodríguez, Antonio; Pérez Gil, JesúsBy coating the alveolar air-liquid interface, lung surfactant overwhelms surface tension forces that, otherwise, would hinder the lifetime effort of breathing. Years of research have provided a picture of how highly hydrophobic and specialized proteins in surfactant promote rapid and efficient formation of phospholipid-based complex three-dimensional films at the respiratory surface, highly stable under the demanding breathing mechanics. However, recent evidence suggests that the structure and performance of surfactant typically isolated from bronchoalveolar lung lavages may be far from that of nascent, still unused, surfactant as freshly secreted by type II pneumocytes into the alveolar airspaces. In the present work, we report the isolation of lung surfactant from human amniotic fluid (amniotic fluid surfactant, AFS) and a detailed description of its composition, structure, and surface activity in comparison to a natural surfactant (NS) purified from porcine bronchoalveolar lavages. We observe that the lipid/ protein complexes in AFS exhibit a substantially higher lipid packing and dehydration than in NS. AFS shows melting transitions at higher temperatures than NS and a conspicuous presence of nonlamellar phases. The surface activity of AFS is not only comparable with that of NS under physiologically meaningful conditions but displays significantly higher resistance to inhibition by serum or meconium, agents that inactivate surfactant in the context of severe respiratory pathologies. We propose that AFS may be the optimal model to study the molecular mechanisms sustaining pulmonary surfactant performance in health and disease, and the reference material to develop improved therapeutic surfactant preparations to treat yet unresolved respiratory pathologies.
- PublicationDisulfide bonds in the SAPA domain of the pulmonary surfactant protein B precursor(Elsevier, 2022-09-13) Estrada, Pilar; Bañares Hidalgo, Ángeles; Pérez Gil, JesúsThe disulfide bonds formed in the SAPA domain of a recombinant version of the NH2-terminal propeptide (SPBN) from the precursor of human pulmonary surfactant protein B (SP-B) were identified through sequential digestion of SP-BN with GluC/trypsin or thermolysin/GluC, followed by mass spectrometry (MS) analysis. MS spectra allowed identification of disulfide bonds between Cys32-Cys49 and Cys40-Cys55, and we propose a disulfide connectivity pattern of 1–3 and 2–4 within the SAPA domain, with the Cys residues numbered according to their position from the N-terminus of the propeptide sequence. The peaks with m/z ~ 2136 and ~ 1780 in the MS spectrum of the GluC/trypsin digest were assigned to peptides 24AWTTSSLACAQGPE37 and 45QALQCR50 linked by Cys32-Cys49 and 38FWCQSLE44 and 51ALGHCLQE58 linked by Cys40-Cys55 respectively. Tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) analysis verified the position of the bonds. The results of the series ions, immonium ions and internal fragment ions were all compatible with the proposed 1–3/2–4 position of the disulfide bonds in the SAPA domain. This X-pattern differs from the kringle-type found in the SAPB domain of the SAPLIP proteins, where the first Cys in the sequence links to the last, the second to the penultimate and the third to the fourth one. Regarding the SAPB domain of the SP-BN propeptide, the MS analysis of both digests identified the bond Cys100- Cys112, numbered 7–8, which is coincident with the bond position in the kringle motif. Significance: The SAPLIP (saposin-like proteins) family encompasses several proteins with homology to saposins (sphingolipids activator proteins). These are proteins with mainly alpha-helical folds, compact packing including well conserved disulfide bonds and ability to interact with phospholipids and membranes. There are two types of saposin-like domains termed as Saposin A (SAPA) and Saposin B (SAPB) domains. While disulfide connectivity has been well established in several SAPB domains, the position of disulfide bonds in SAPA domains is still unknown. The present study approaches a detailed proteomic study to determine disulfide connectivity in the SAPA domain of the precursor of human pulmonary surfactant-associated protein SP-B. This task has been a challenge requiring the combination of different sequential proteolytic treatments followed by MS analysis including MALDI-TOF and tandem mass MS/MS spectrometry. The determination for first time of the position of disulfide bonds in SAPA domains is an important step to understand the structural determinants defining its biological functions.
- PublicationPulmonary surfactant and drug delivery: Vehiculization of a tryptophan-tagged antimicrobial peptide over the air-liquid interfacial highway(Elsevier, 2022-09-23) García-Mouton, Cristina; Parra Ortiz, Elisa; Malmsten, Martin; Cruz Rodríguez, Antonio; Pérez Gil, JesúsThis work evaluates interaction of pulmonary surfactant (PS) and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in order to investigate (i) if PS can be used to transport AMPs, and (ii) to what extent PS interferes with AMP function and vice versa. This, in turn, is motivated by a need to find new strategies to treat bacterial infections in the airways. Low respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) are a leading cause of illness and death worldwide that, together with the problem of multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria, bring to light the necessity of developing effective therapies that ensure high bioavailability of the drug at the site of infection and display a potent antimicrobial effect. Here, we propose the combination of AMPs with PS to improve their delivery, exemplified for the hydrophobically endtagged AMP, GRR10W4 (GRRPRPRPRPWWWW-NH2), with previously demonstrated potent antimicrobial activity against a broad spectrum of bacteria under various conditions. Experiments using model systems emulating the respiratory interface and an operating alveolus, based on surface balances and bubble surfactometry, served to demonstrate that a fluorescently labelled version of GRR10W4 (GRR10W4-F), was able to interact and insert into PS membranes without affecting its biophysical function. Therefore, vehiculization of the peptide along air–liquid interfaces was enabled, even for interfaces previously occupied by surfactants layers. Furthermore, breathing-like compression-expansion dynamics promoted the interfacial release of GRR10W4-F after its delivery, which could further allow the peptide to perform its antimicrobial function. PS/GRR10W4-F formulations displayed greater antimicrobial effects and reduced toxicity on cultured airway epithelial cells compared to that of the peptide alone. Taken together, these results open the door to the development of novel delivery strategies for AMPs in order to increase the bioavailability of these molecules at the infection site via inhaled therapies.
- PublicationA recipe for a good clinical pulmonary surfactant(Elsevier, 2022-03-08) Pérez Gil, JesúsThe lives of thousands premature babies have been saved along the last thirty years thanks to the establishment and consolidation of pulmonary surfactant replacement therapies (SRT). It took some time to close the gap between the identification of the biophysical and molecular causes of the high mortality associated with respiratory distress syndrome in very premature babies and the development of a proper therapy. Closing the gap required the elucidation of some key questions defining the structure–function relationships in surfactant as well as the particular role of the different molecular components assembled into the surfactant system. On the other hand, the application of SRT as part of treatments targeting other devastating respiratory pathologies, in babies and adults, is depending on further extensive research still required before enough amounts of good humanized clinical surfactants will be available. This review summarizes our current concepts on the compositional and structural determinants defining pulmonary surfactant activity, the principles behind the development of efficient natural animal-derived or recombinant or synthetic therapeutic surfactants, as well as a the most promising lines of research that are already opening new perspectives in the application of tailored surfactant therapies to treat important yet unresolved respiratory pathologies.
- PublicationCompositional, structural and functional properties of discrete coexisting complexes within bronchoalveolar pulmonary surfactant(Elsevier, 2021-10-20) Castillo Sánchez, José Carlos; Cerrada, Alejandro; Conde, Mikel; Cruz Rodríguez, Antonio; Pérez Gil, JesúsLung surfactant (LS) stabilizes the respiratory surface by forming a film at the alveolar air-liquid interface that reduces surface tension and minimizes the work of breathing. Typically, this surface-active agent has been isolated from animal lungs both for research and biomedical applications. However, these materials are constituted by complex membranous architectures including surface-active and inactive lipid/protein assemblies. In this work, we describe the composition, structure and surface activity of discrete membranous entities that are part of a LS preparation isolated from bronchoalveolar lavages of porcine lungs. Seven different fractions could be resolved from whole surfactant subjected to sucrose density gradient centrifugation. Detailed compositional characterization revealed differences in protein and cholesterol content but no distinct saturated:unsaturated phosphatidylcholine ratios. Moreover, no significant differences were detected regarding apparent hydration at the headgroup region of membranes, as reported by the probe Laurdan, and lipid chain mobility analysed by electron spin resonance (ESR) in spite of the variety of membranous assemblies observed by transmission electron microscopy. In addition, six of the seven separated LS subfractions formed similar, essentially disordered-like, interfacial films and performed efficient surface activity, under physiologically relevant conditions. Altogether, our work show that a LS isolated from porcine lungs is comprised by a heterogenous population of membranous assemblies lacking freshly secreted unused LS complexes sustaining highly dehydrated and ordered membranous assemblies as previously reported. We propose that surfactant subfractions may illustrate intermediates in sequential structural steps within the structural transformations occurring along the respiratory compression-expansion cycles.