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Nature. 1987 Dec 24-31;330(6150):752-4.

Phosphorylation fails to activate chloride channels from cystic fibrosis airway cells.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Alabama, Birmingham 35294.


Chloride impermeability of epithelial cells can account for many of the experimental and clinical manifestations of cystic fibrosis (CF). Activation of apical-membrane Cl- channels by cyclic AMP-mediated stimuli is defective in CF airway epithelial cells, despite normal agonist-induced increases in cellular cAMP levels. This defect in Cl- channel regulation has been localized to the apical membrane by exposing the cytoplasmic surface of excised membrane patches to the catalytic subunit (C subunit) of cAMP-dependent protein kinase and ATP. In membranes from normal cells, C-subunit activated Cl- channels with properties identical to those stimulated by cAMP-dependent agonists during cell-attached recording. Activation by the C subunit was not observed in CF membranes, but the presence of Cl- channels was verified by voltage-induced activation. The failure of the C subunit to activate the Cl- channels of CF membranes indicates that the block in their cAMP-mediated activation lies distal to induction of cAMP-dependent protein kinase activity and focuses our attention on the Cl- channel and its membrane-associated regulatory proteins as the probable site of the CF defect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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