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Biochemistry. 2008 Feb 12;47(6):1465-73. doi: 10.1021/bi702209s. Epub 2008 Jan 15.

Misfolding of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator and disease.

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  • 1Division of Molecular Structure and Function, Research Institute, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X8, Canada.


Understanding the structural basis for defects in protein function that underlie protein-based genetic diseases is the fundamental requirement for development of therapies. This situation is epitomized by the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR)-the gene product known to be defective in CF patients-that appears particularly susceptible to misfolding when its biogenesis is hampered by mutations at critical loci. While the primary CF-related defect in CFTR has been localized to deletion of nucleotide binding fold (NBD1) residue Phe508, an increasing number of mutations (now ca. 1,500) are being associated with CF disease of varying severity. Hundreds of these mutations occur in the CFTR transmembrane domain, the site of the protein's chloride channel. This report summarizes our current knowledge on how mutation-dependent misfolding of the CFTR protein is recognized on the cellular level; how specific types of mutations can contribute to the misfolding process; and describes experimental approaches to detecting and elucidating the structural consequences of CF-phenotypic mutations.

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