Characterisation and expression of SPLUNC2, the human orthologue of rodent parotid secretory protein
- Publisher: Springer Verlag
We recently described the Palate Lung Nasal Clone (PLUNC) family of proteins as an extended group of proteins expressed in the upper airways, nose and mouth. Little is known about these proteins, but they are secreted into the airway and nasal lining fluids and saliva where, due to their structural similarity with lipopolysaccharide-binding protein and bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein, they may play a role in the innate immune defence. We now describe the generation and characterisation of novel affinity-purified antibodies to SPLUNC2, and use them to determine the expression of this, the major salivary gland PLUNC. Western blotting showed that the antibodies identified a number of distinct protein bands in saliva, whilst immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated protein expression in serous cells of the major salivary glands and in the ductal lumens as well as in cells of minor mucosal glands. Antibodies directed against distinct epitopes of the protein yielded different staining patterns in both minor and major salivary glands. Using RT-PCR of tissues from the oral cavity, coupled with EST analysis, we showed that the gene undergoes alternative splicing using two 5' non-coding exons, suggesting that the gene is regulated by alternative promoters. Comprehensive RACE analysis using salivary gland RNA as template failed to identify any additional exons. Analysis of saliva showed that SPLUNC2 is subject to N-glycosylation. Thus, our study shows that multiple SPLUNC2 isoforms are found in the oral cavity and suggest that these proteins may be differentially regulated in distinct tissues where they may function in the innate immune response.