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Open AccessArticle

Phenotyping of Rare CFTR Mutations Reveals Distinct Trafficking and Functional Defects

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Molecular Virology and Gene Therapy, Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Flanders, Belgium
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CF Centre, Woman and Child Unit, Department of Development and Regeneration, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Flanders, Belgium
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Leuven Viral Vector Core, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Flanders, Belgium
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Translational Research in Gastrointestinal Disorders (TARGID), KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Flanders, Belgium
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University Hospital Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Flanders, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2020, 9(3), 754; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9030754
Received: 27 February 2020 / Revised: 16 March 2020 / Accepted: 16 March 2020 / Published: 19 March 2020
Background. The most common CFTR mutation, F508del, presents with multiple cellular defects. However, the possible multiple defects caused by many rarer CFTR mutations are not well studied. We investigated four rare CFTR mutations E60K, G85E, E92K and A455E against well-characterized mutations, F508del and G551D, and their responses to corrector VX-809 and/or potentiator VX-770. Methods. Using complementary assays in HEK293T stable cell lines, we determined maturation by Western blotting, trafficking by flow cytometry using extracellular 3HA-tagged CFTR, and function by halide-sensitive YFP quenching. In the forskolin-induced swelling assay in intestinal organoids, we validated the effect of tagged versus endogenous CFTR. Results. Treatment with VX-809 significantly restored maturation, PM localization and function of both E60K and E92K. Mechanistically, VX-809 not only raised the total amount of CFTR, but significantly increased the traffic efficiency, which was not the case for A455E. G85E was refractory to VX-809 and VX-770 treatment. Conclusions. Since no single model or assay allows deciphering all defects at once, we propose a combination of phenotypic assays to collect rapid and early insights into the multiple defects of CFTR variants. View Full-Text
Keywords: rare CFTR mutations; CFTR maturation; CFTR function; CFTR trafficking; CFTR modulators rare CFTR mutations; CFTR maturation; CFTR function; CFTR trafficking; CFTR modulators
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Ensinck, M.; De Keersmaecker, L.; Heylen, L.; Ramalho, A.S.; Gijsbers, R.; Farré, R.; De Boeck, K.; Christ, F.; Debyser, Z.; Carlon, M.S. Phenotyping of Rare CFTR Mutations Reveals Distinct Trafficking and Functional Defects. Cells 2020, 9, 754.

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