There have been major breakthroughs in lung surfactant (LS) research over the
last two decades that have changed our concept of how and why the material
works well at the lung air–water interface. From the initial ideas of a surface
active material lining the alveoli to the seminal concepts of how low surface
tension is reached, the classical ideas about Comroe’s “extraordinary juice”
requires revision and re-thinking.
During a search for cDNAs encoding plant sterol acyl-transferases, we isolated four full-length cDNAs fromAra-bidopsis thaliana that encode proteins with substantial
identity with animal lecithin : cholesterol acyltransferases
(LCATs). The expressionof one of these cDNAs,AtLCAT3
(At3g03310), invarious yeast strains resulted in the doubling
of the triacylglycerol content.
The amyloid protein precursor (APP) was incorporated into liposomes or phospholipid monolayers. APP insertion into liposomes required neutral lipids, such as L-a-phosphatidylcholine, in the target membrane. It was prevented in vesicles containing L-a-phosphatidylserine. The insertion was enhanced in acidic solutions, suggesting that it is modulated by speciﬁc charge/charge interactions. Surfaceactive properties and behaviour of APP were characterized during insertion of the protein in monomolecular ﬁlms of L-a-phosphatidylcholine, L-a-phosphatidylethanolamine or L-a-phosphatidylserine. ...