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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2013 Jan 15;187(2):170-9. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201205-0875OC. Epub 2012 Dec 6.

Neutrophil elastase degrades cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator via calpains and disables channel function in vitro and in vivo.

Author information

1
Institut Pasteur,Unité de Défense Innée et Inflammation, 25 rue du Dr Roux, 75724 Paris, France.

Abstract

RATIONALE:

Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein is a chloride channel regulating fluid homeostasis at epithelial surfaces. Its loss of function induces hypohydration, mucus accumulation, and bacterial infections in CF and potentially other lung chronic diseases.

OBJECTIVES:

To test whether neutrophil elastase (NE) and neutrophil-mediated inflammation negatively impact CFTR structure and function, in vitro and in vivo.

METHODS:

Using an adenovirus-CFTR overexpression approach, we showed that NE degrades wild-type (WT)- and ΔF508-CFTR in vitro and WT-CFTR in mice through a new pathway involving the activation of intracellular calpains.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:

CFTR degradation triggered a loss of function, as measured in vitro by channel patch-clamp and in vivo by nasal potential recording in mice. Importantly, this mechanism was also shown to be operative in a Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection murine model, and was NE-dependent, because CFTR integrity was significantly protected in NE(-/-) mice compared with WT mice.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data provide a new mechanism and show for the first time a link between NE-calpains activation and CFTR loss of function in bacterial lung infections relevant to CF and to other chronic inflammatory lung conditions.

PMID:
23220915
DOI:
10.1164/rccm.201205-0875OC
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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