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posted on 2018-08-06, 08:15 authored by Alessandro Mangogna, Beatrice Belmonte, Chiara Agostinis, Giuseppe Ricci, Alessandro Gulino, Ines Ferrara, Fabrizio Zanconati, Claudio Tripodo, Federico Romano, Uday Kishore, Roberta Bulla

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.