Functional characterization of the different oligomeric forms of human surfactant protein SP-D

Surfactant Protein D (SP-D) is a collectin protein that participates in the innate immune defense of the lungs. SP-D 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.

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Structure and activity of human surfactant protein D from different natural sources

Surfactant protein D (SP-D) is a C-type lectin that participates in the innate immune defense of lungs. It binds pathogens through its carbohydrate recognition domain in a calcium-dependent manner. Human surfactant protein D (hSP-D) has been routinely obtained from bronchoalveolar lavage of patients suffering from pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP) and from amniotic fluid (AF). As a consequence of the disease, hSP-D obtained from PAP is found in higher amounts and is mainly composed of higher order oligomeric forms

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Sequence-dependent mechanical properties of double-stranded RNA

The mechanical properties of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) are involved in many of its biological functions and are relevant for future nanotechnology applications. DsRNA must tightly bend to fit inside viral capsids or deform upon the interaction with proteins that regulate gene silencing or the immune response against viral attacks. However, the question of how the nucleotide sequence affects the global mechanical properties of dsRNA has so far remained largely unexplored. Here, we have employed stateof-the-art atomistic molecular dynamics simulations to unveil the mechanical response of different RNA duplexes to an external force

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ParB dynamics and the critical role of the CTD in DNA condensation unveiled by combined force-fluorescence measurements

Bacillus subtilis ParB forms multimeric networks involving non-specific DNA binding leading to DNA condensation. Previously, we found that an excess of the free C-terminal domain (CTD) of ParB impeded DNA condensation or promoted decondensation of pre-assembled networks (Fisher et al., 2017). However, interpretation of the molecular basis for this phenomenon was complicated by our inability to uncouple protein binding from DNA condensation.

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