Novel tricyclic pyrrolo-quinolines as pharmacological correctors of the mutant CFTR chloride channel

Sci Rep. 2023 May 10;13(1):7604. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-34440-0.


F508del, the most frequent mutation in cystic fibrosis (CF), impairs the stability and folding of the CFTR chloride channel, thus resulting in intracellular retention and CFTR degradation. The F508del defect can be targeted with pharmacological correctors, such as VX-809 and VX-445, that stabilize CFTR and improve its trafficking to plasma membrane. Using a functional test to evaluate a panel of chemical compounds, we have identified tricyclic pyrrolo-quinolines as novel F508del correctors with high efficacy on primary airway epithelial cells from CF patients. The most effective compound, PP028, showed synergy when combined with VX-809 and VX-661 but not with VX-445. By testing the ability of correctors to stabilize CFTR fragments of different length, we found that VX-809 is effective on the amino-terminal portion of the protein that includes the first membrane-spanning domain (amino acids 1-387). Instead, PP028 and VX-445 only show a stabilizing effect when the second membrane-spanning domain is included (amino acids 1-1181). Our results indicate that tricyclic pyrrolo-quinolines are a novel class of CFTR correctors that, similarly to VX-445, interact with CFTR at a site different from that of VX-809. Tricyclic pirrolo-quinolines may represent novel CFTR correctors suitable for combinatorial pharmacological treatments to treat the basic defect in CF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aminopyridines / pharmacology
  • Aminopyridines / therapeutic use
  • Benzodioxoles / pharmacology
  • Benzodioxoles / therapeutic use
  • Chloride Channels / genetics
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator / metabolism
  • Cystic Fibrosis* / drug therapy
  • Cystic Fibrosis* / genetics
  • Cystic Fibrosis* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Quinolines* / therapeutic use


  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator
  • lumacaftor
  • Chloride Channels
  • Quinolines
  • Benzodioxoles
  • Aminopyridines
  • CFTR protein, human