Cystic fibrosis (CF) occurs when the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein is not synthetized and folded correctly. The CFTR protein helps to maintain the balance of salt and water on many body surfaces, such as the lung surface. When the protein is not working correctly, chloride becomes trapped in cells, then water cannot hydrate the cellular surface and the mucus covering the cells becomes thick and sticky. Furthermore, a defective CFTR appears to produce a redox imbalance in epithelial cells and extracellular fluids and to cause an abnormal generation of reactive oxygen species: as a consequence, oxidative stress has been implicated as a causative factor in the aetiology of the process. Moreover, massive evidences show that defective CFTR gives rise to extracellular GSH level decrease and elevated glucose concentrations in airway surface liquid (ASL), thus encouraging lung infection by pathogens in the CF advancement. Recent research in progress aims to rediscover a possible role of mitochondria in CF. Here the latest new and recent studies on mitochondrial bioenergetics are collected. Surprisingly, they have enabled us to ascertain that mitochondria have a leading role in opposing the high ASL glucose level as well as oxidative stress in CF.
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