Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene defects in patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis

J Hepatol. 2002 Aug;37(2):192-7. doi: 10.1016/s0168-8278(02)00161-7.


Background/aims: Because biliary tract lesions that resemble those of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) may occur in cystic fibrosis (CF), we examined the prevalence and influence of CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene mutations in PSC patients.

Methods: Genomic DNA was analyzed in 29 consecutive PSC patients and in 115 healthy control individuals. A scanning method followed by direct DNA sequencing was used to scan the CFTR coding regions.

Results: Four patients (13.8%) were heterozygous for a CFTR mutation, including a new putative severe CF-causing mutation (N782K), and three mild defects (L997F, D1270N, and S1235R). The comparison of PSC patients with healthy controls showed no significant difference in the frequency of CFTR mutations (P=0.415). In addition, two patients (6.9%) were heterozygous for the IVS8-5T allele, which is not significantly different from the 5-6%-prevalence in the general population. Unusual clinical features including a severe outcome in childhood, with a lethal outcome at age 22, and biliary aspergillosis were recorded in patients with a CFTR mutation.

Conclusions: The proportion of CF carriers is not significantly higher in PSC patients than in the general population. The possibility that CFTR mutations may contribute to a severe clinical course in PSC patients is worth further examining.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / epidemiology
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / genetics*
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator / genetics*
  • Exons
  • Female
  • Gene Deletion*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Introns
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA Splicing / genetics


  • CFTR protein, human
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator