• Whitney, Philip L. (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Our long range goal is to increase knowledge of the neonatal development of
the gas-exchange region of the lung. Our more immediate goal is to
characterize the structure, function and regulation of a dimeric soluble,
B-galactoside-specific lectin (designated lectin-14K based on its
approximate subunit molecular weight) that is found in the lung of several
species including rat and man. In rat, hamster and guinea pig lungs the
lectin activity peaks at the same time that the lung is undergoing a period
of intense alveolar development. We have determined the sequence of 21
amino acids in lectin-14K and used this information to synthesize an
oligonucleotide probe that we will use to identify and isolate the cDNA for
lectin-14K. The lectin cDNA will be used to determine nucleotide and amino
acid sequences and to study the developmental and hormonal regulation of
lectin gene transcription and mRNA translation. We will also characterize
lectin-17K and lectin-32K, two monomeric lectins with sugar specificities
that are very similar to lectin-14K and could, therefore, compete for the
same receptors. Finally, we will study lectin synthesis, turnover, and
secretion in cultured lung cells with the aim of characterizing the
mechanisms that regulate lectin secretion and its extracellular function.
We think the key issues and importance of our work may be narrowed to the
following: 1) we will substantially augment the very little information
tht exists on the developmental regulation of expression of the lectin-14K
gene, and 2) we may elucidate the role of the lectin in the architectural
development of the gas-exchange region of the lung and possibly of the
lung's arterioles. We hope to achieve our goals using techniques of cell
physiology and cell and molecular biology to understand this aspect of lung
development. We think our studies will provide important information on
the molecular and cellular basis of lung development and may provide a
basis for understanding developmental defects of the lung.
Effective start/end date4/1/846/30/91


  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)


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