Structure and properties of surfactant protein B

Samuel Hawgood, Matthew Derrick, Francis R Poulain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


Surfactant protein B is a small homodimeric protein that is found tightly associated with surfactant lipids in the alveolar space. In this review, we discuss the actions of SP-B on phospholipid membranes using information predominantly obtained from model membrane systems. We try to correlate these model actions with current concepts of SP-B structure and proposed biological functions. These functions may include critical roles in the intracellular assembly of surfactant through a role in lamellar body organogenesis, the structural rearrangement of secreted surfactant lipids into tubular myelin, and the subsequent rapid insertion of secreted surfactant phospholipids into the surface film itself. The relevance of SP-B to human biology is emphasized by the fatal respiratory distress that is associated with a genetic deficiency of SP-B and the important role of SP-B in certain exogenous surfactant formulations in wide clinical use. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-160
Number of pages11
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Nov 19 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Infant respiratory distress
  • Lipid-protein interaction
  • Saposin family
  • Surfactant protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biophysics


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