BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Environmental pollutant ozone causes damage to lung surfactant protein B, SP-B

    Hemming, Joanna M. and Hughes, Brian R. and Rennie, A. and Tomas, Salvador and Campbell, R. and Hughes, A. and Arnold, T. and Botchway, S. and Thompson, Katherine C. (2016) Environmental pollutant ozone causes damage to lung surfactant protein B, SP-B. Biochemistry 54 (33), pp. 5185-5197. ISSN 0006-2960.

    12646(a).pdf - Supplemental Material

    Download (3MB) | Preview
    12646.pdf - Author's Accepted Manuscript

    Download (2MB) | Preview
    12646a.pdf - Published Version of Record
    Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

    Download (3MB) | Preview


    Lung surfactant protein B (SP-B) is an essential protein found in the surfactant fluid at the air–water interface of the lung. Exposure to the air pollutant ozone could potentially damage SP-B and lead to respiratory distress. We have studied two peptides, one consisting of the N-terminus of SP-B [SP-B(1–25)] and the other a construct of the N- and C-termini of SP-B [SP-B(1–25,63–78)], called SMB. Exposure to dilute levels of ozone (∼2 ppm) of monolayers of each peptide at the air–water interface leads to a rapid reaction, which is evident from an increase in the surface tension. Fluorescence experiments revealed that this increase in surface tension is accompanied by a loss of fluorescence from the tryptophan residue at the interface. Neutron and X-ray reflectivity experiments show that, in contrast to suggestions in the literature, the peptides are not solubilized upon oxidation but rather remain at the interface with little change in their hydration. Analysis of the product material reveals that no cleavage of the peptides occurs, but a more hydrophobic product is slowly formed together with an increased level of oligomerization. We attributed this to partial unfolding of the peptides. Experiments conducted in the presence of phospholipids reveal that the presence of the lipids does not prevent oxidation of the peptides. Our results strongly suggest that exposure to low levels of ozone gas will damage SP-B, leading to a change in its structure. The implication is that the oxidized protein will be impaired in its ability to interact at the air–water interface with negatively charged phosphoglycerol lipids, thus compromising what is thought to be its main biological function.


    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Science > Biological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Structural Molecular Biology, Institute of (ISMB)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2015 11:52
    Last Modified: 14 Jun 2021 09:14


    Activity Overview

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item