Surfactant protein D binds selectively to Klebsiella pneumoniae lipopolysaccharides containing mannose-rich O-antigens

Hany Sahly, Itzhak Ofek, Rainer Podschun, Helmut Brade, Yanchun He, Uwe Ullmann, Erika Crouch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Surfactant protein D (SP-D) plays important roles in the regulation of innate immune responses in the lung. We have previously shown that SP-D can agglutinate and enhance the macrophage-dependent killing of specific unencapsulated phase variants of Klebsiella pneumoniae. In the present studies, we used 16 clinical isolates of Klebsiella representing four O-serotypes and examined the interaction of SP-D with their isolated LPSs. Although SP-D bound to the core oligosaccharide of rough LPS from all isolates, it selectively bound to smooth forms of LPS expressed by O-serotypes with mannose-rich repeating units in their O-polysaccharides. SP-D was more potent in agglutinating unencapsulated phase variants of O-serotypes expressing these SP-D "reactive" O-polysaccharides, and more effectively inhibited the adhesion of these serotypes to lung epithelial cells. This novel anti-adhesion activity required the multimerization of trimeric SP-D subunits (dodecamers). Klebsiella serotypes expressing "nonreactive" LPS O-Ags were isolated at a significantly higher frequency from patients with K. pneumoniae. Our findings suggest that SP-D plays important roles in the clearance of opportunistic Gram-negative bacteria and contributes to known serotypic differences in the pathogenicity of Klebsiella through specific interactions with O-polysaccharides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3267-3274
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 15 Sep 2002
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Heart, Lung, and Blood InstituteP01HL029594


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