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J Bioenerg Biomembr. 1993 Feb;25(1):11-9.

Effects of the delta F508 mutation on the structure, function, and folding of the first nucleotide-binding domain of CFTR.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205.


The fatal autosomal recessive disease cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by mutations in the gene which encodes the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). Many of these disease-causing mutations, including the deletion of F508 (delta F508) which accounts for approximately 70% of the disease alleles, occur in one of the two consensus nucleotide binding sequences. Peptide studies have directly demonstrated that the N-terminal nucleotide binding sequences bind adenine nucleotides. Structurally, circular dichroism spectropolarimetry indicates that this region of CFTR assumes a beta-stranded structure in solution. The delta F508 mutation causes a diminution in the amount of beta-stranded structure and a concomitant increase in the amount of random coil structure present, indicating that either the mutant peptide has a different native structure or that the conformational equilibrium is shifted toward a more disordered form. Furthermore, the mutant peptide is more sensitive to denaturation, indicating that delta F508 is a stability, or protein-folding mutant. Here we review these results and discuss their implications for interpreting the behavior of delta F508 in situ and for the rational design of new CF drugs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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