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Paediatric respiratory reviews

Mutation specific therapy in CF.


PMID 16798551

Abstract

CFTR mutations cause defects of CFTR protein production and function by different molecular mechanisms. The mutations can be classified according to the mechanisms by which mutations disrupt CFTR function. This understanding of the different molecular mechanism of CFTR dysfunction provides the scientific basis for development of targeted drugs for mutation specific therapy of CF. Class I mutations are nonsense mutations that result in the presence of premature stop codon that leads to the production of unstable mRNA or the release from the ribosome of a short truncated protein that is not functional. The aminoglycoside antibiotics can suppress premature termination codons by disrupting translational fidelity and allowing the incorporation of an amino acid, thus permitting translation to continue to the normal termination of the transcript. Class II mutations cause impairment of CFTR processing and folding in the Golgi. As a result the mutant CFTR is retained in the ER and eventually targeted for degradation by the quality control mechanisms. Chemical and molecular chaperons such as Sodium-4-phenylbutyrate can stabilize protein structure, and allow it to escape from degradation in the ER and be transported to the cell membrane. Class III mutations disrupt the function of the regulatory domain. CFTR is resistant to phosphorylation or ATP binding. CFTR activators such as alkylxanthines (CPX) and the flavonoid genistein can overcome the affected ATP binding through direct binding to a nucleotide binding fold. In patients carrying class IV mutations, phosphorylation of CFTR results in reduced chloride transport. Increases in the overall cell surface content of these mutants might overcome the relative reduction in conductance. Alternatively restoring native chloride pore characteristics pharmacologically might be effective. Activators of CFTR at the plasma membrane may function by promoting CFTR phosphorylation, by blocking CFTR dephosphorylation, by interacting directly with CFTR, and/or by modulation of CFTR protein-protein interactions. Class V mutations affect the spicing machinery and generate both aberrantly and correctly spliced transcripts, the level of which vary among different patients and among different organs of the same patient. Splicing factors that promote exon inclusion or factors that promote exon skipping can promote increase of correctly spliced transcripts, depending on the molecular defect. Inconsistent results were reported regarding the required level of corrected or mutated CFTR that has to be reached in order to achieve normal function.