New publication - Pathological Significance and Prognostic Value of Surfactant Protein D in Cancer

Published on Frontiers in Immunology by the research group of prof. Roberta Bulla
News typology: 
Publish date
Published on: 



Surfactant protein D (SP-D) is a pattern recognition molecule belonging to the Collectin (collagen-containing C-type lectin) family that has pulmonary as well as extra-pulmonary existence. In the lungs, it is a well-established opsonin that can agglutinate a range of microbes, and enhance their clearance via phagocytosis and super-oxidative burst. It can interfere with allergen–IgE interaction and suppress basophil and mast cell activation.
However, it is now becoming evident that SP-D is likely to be an innate immune surveillance molecule against tumor development. SP-D has been shown to induce apoptosis in sensitized eosinophils derived from allergic patients and a leukemic cell line via p53 pathway. Recently, SP-D has been shown to suppress lung cancer progression via interference with the epidermal growth factor signaling.
In addition, a truncated form of recombinant human SP-D has been reported to induce apoptosis in pancreatic adenocarcinoma via Fas-mediated pathway in a p53-independent manner. To further establish a correlation between SP-D presence/levels and normal and cancer tissues, we performed a bioinformatics analysis, using Oncomine dataset and the survival analysis platforms Kaplan–Meier plotter, to assess if SP-D can serve as a potential prognostic marker for human lung cancer, in addition to human gastric, breast, and ovarian cancers.
We also analyzed immunohistochemically the presence of SP-D in normal and tumor human tissues. We conclude that (1) in the lung, gastric, and breast cancers, there is a lower expression of SP-D than normal tissues; (2) in ovarian cancer, there is a higher expression of SP-D than normal tissue; and (3) in lung cancer, the presence of SP-D could be associated with a favorable prognosis. On the contrary, at non-pulmonary sites such as gastric, breast, and ovarian cancers, the presence of SP-D could be associated with unfavorable prognosis. Correlation between the levels of SP-D and overall survival requires further investigation. Our analysis involves a large number of dataset; therefore, any trend observed is reliable. Despite apparent complexity within the results, it is evident that cancer tissues that produce less levels of SP-D compared to their normal tissue counterparts are probably less susceptible to SP-D-mediated immune surveillance mechanisms via infiltrating immune cells.


PDF icon Read and download the article


Last update: 10-04-2018 - 12:29