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Pediatr Res. 2003 Nov;54(5):627-34. Epub 2003 Aug 20.

Evaluation of MRP1-5 gene expression in cystic fibrosis patients homozygous for the delta F508 mutation.

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Service d'Histologie-Biologie Tumorale, UPRES EA3499 Hôpital Tenon, 75020 Paris, France.


Cystic fibrosis (CF), due to mutations of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), exhibits a wide range of disease severity, even among deltaF508 homozygous patients, and the mechanisms of this variability have yet to be elucidated. In view of the close structural homology and possible functional overlap between CFTR and Multidrug Resistance-associated Proteins (MRPs), MRPs were investigated as potentially relevant factors in CF pathophysiology. MRP1-5 gene expression was analyzed in nasal respiratory epithelial cells from deltaF508 homozygous patients (n = 19) and control subjects (n = 20) using semiquantitative RT-PCR. Significantly lower MRP1 and MRP5 transcript levels were found in CF patients than in control subjects. MRP1 and MRP5 transcript levels were strongly correlated (r = 0.71). In CF patients, low MRP1 transcript levels were associated with more severe disease as assessed by the Shwachman score. A relation was also observed between MRP1 levels and presence of a cAMP-independent chloride conductive pathway, as determined by a halide-sensitive fluorescent assay. These results suggest that MRPs, especially MRP1, might play a role in CF phenotype and might therefore constitute a target for a novel pharmacotherapy of CF.

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