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Cell Physiol Biochem. 2009;24(5-6):347-60. doi: 10.1159/000257427. Epub 2009 Nov 4.

Inhibition of protein kinase CK2 closes the CFTR Cl channel, but has no effect on the cystic fibrosis mutant deltaF508-CFTR.

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Centre for Cardiovascular and Lung Biology, University of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital, UK.



Deletion of phenylalanine-508 (DeltaF508) from the first nucleotide-binding domain (NBD1) in the wild-type cystic fibrosis (CF) transmembrane-conductance regulator (wtCFTR) causes CF. However, the mechanistic relationship between DeltaF508-CFTR and the diversity of CF disease is unexplained. The surface location of F508 on NBD1 creates the potential for protein-protein interactions and nearby, lies a consensus sequence (SYDE) reported to control the pleiotropic protein kinase CK2.


Electrophysiology, immunofluorescence and biochemistry applied to CFTR-expressing cells, Xenopus oocytes, pancreatic ducts and patient biopsies.


Irrespective of PKA activation, CK2 inhibition (ducts, oocytes, cells) attenuates CFTR-dependent Cl(-) transport, closing wtCFTR in cell-attached membrane patches. CK2 and wtCFTR co-precipitate and CK2 co-localized with wtCFTR (but not DeltaF508-CFTR) in apical membranes of human airway biopsies. Comparing wild-type and DeltaF508CFTR expressing oocytes, only DeltaF508-CFTR Cl(-) currents were insensitive to two CK2 inhibitors. Furthermore, wtCFTR was inhibited by injecting a peptide mimicking the F508 region, whereas the DeltaF508-equivalent peptide had no effect.


CK2 controls wtCFTR, but not DeltaF508-CFTR. Others find that peptides from the F508 region of NBD1 allosterically control CK2, acting through F508. Hence, disruption of CK2-CFTR interaction by DeltaF508-CFTR might disrupt multiple, membrane-associated, CK2-dependent pathways, creating a new molecular disease paradigm for deleted F508 in CFTR.

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