Separation of subfractions of the hydrophobic components of calf lung surfactant

S. B. Hall, Z. Wang, R. H. Notter

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66 Scopus citations


This study reports the biochemical separation of the hydrophobic constituents of calf lung surfactant into separate fractions from which specific components are excluded. Gel permeation chromatography on LH-20 with acidified chloroform-methanol separated the constituents of calf lung surfactant extract (CLSE) into fractions containing purified phospholipids (PPL), the neutral lipids and phospholipids (N and PL), or the hydrophobic surfactant proteins (SP)-B and -C together with the phospholipids (SP and PL). Extraction of acid to prevent phospholipid degradation after separation reduced recovery of the apoproteins in SP and PL. This fraction was therefore supplemented with protein purified separately to attain the initial levels present in CLSE. Biochemical analyses confirmed that the resulting preparations had the expected composition not only of protein, neutral lipids and phospholipids, but also of the phospholipid head groups. In addition to these fractions obtained with acidified solvent, elution of CLSE with chloroform-methanol without acid yielded the zwitterionic phospholipids substantially depleted of anionic phosphatidylglycerol and phosphatidylinositol. Limited interfacial measurements also demonstrated that the process of separation did not alter the fundamental surface characteristics of the surfactant constituents. Recombined CLSE (rCLSE) reconstituted from all of the separated components had surface activity indistinguishable from the original CLSE. The individual fractions of surfactant components also had average molecular areas at the air-liquid interface which agreed with predictions based on their biochemical composition. These well defined preparations of the hydrophobic constituents of pulmonary surfactant provide the basis for future studies to establish the role of individual components in the function of this complex surface active material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1386-1394
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1994


  • proteolipids
  • pulmonary surfactant
  • surface active agents
  • surfactant apoproteins
  • surfactant composition
  • surfactant phospholipids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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