Type I, II, III, IV, and V cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator defects and opportunities for therapy

Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2000 Nov;6(6):521-9. doi: 10.1097/00063198-200011000-00011.


Recent advances in cellular and molecular biology have furthered the understanding of several genetic diseases, including cystic fibrosis. Mutations that cause cystic fibrosis are now understood in terms of the specific molecular consequences to the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein expression and function. This knowledge has spawned interest in the development of therapies aimed directly at correcting the defective CFTR itself. In this article, we review the molecular defect underlying each recognized class of CFTR mutation and the potential therapies currently under investigation. Opportunities for protein-repair therapy appear to be vast and range from naturally occurring compounds, such as isoflavonoids, to pharmaceuticals already in clinical use, including aminoglycoside antibiotics, butyrate analogues, phosphodiesterase inhibitors, and adenosine nucleotides. Future therapies may resemble designer compounds like benzo[c]quinoliziniums or take the form of small peptide replacements. Given the heterogeneity and progressive nature of cystic fibrosis, however, optimal benefit from protein-repair therapy will most likely require the initiation of combined therapies early in the course of disease to avoid irreparable organ damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Codon, Terminator / genetics
  • Cystic Fibrosis / genetics*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / therapy*
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Folding
  • RNA Splicing


  • CFTR protein, human
  • Codon, Terminator
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator