Suppression of a CFTR premature stop mutation in a bronchial epithelial cell line

Nat Med. 1997 Nov;3(11):1280-4. doi: 10.1038/nm1197-1280.


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by mutations in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein. While 70% of CF chromosomes carry a deletion of the phenylalanine residue 508 (deltaF508) of CFTR, roughly 5% of all CF chromosomes carry a premature stop mutation. We reported that the aminoglycoside antibiotics G-418 and gentamicin can suppress two premature stop mutations [a stop codon in place of glycine residue 542 (G542X) and arginine residue 553 (R553X)] when expressed from a CFTR cDNA in HeLa cells. Suppression resulted in the synthesis of full-length CFTR protein and the appearance of a cAMP-activated anion conductance characteristic of CFTR function. However, it was unclear whether this approach could restore CFTR function in cells expressing mutant forms of CFTR from the nuclear genome. We now report that G-418 and gentamicin are also capable of restoring CFTR expression in a CF bronchial epithelial cell line carrying the CFTR W1282X premature stop mutation (a stop codon in place of tryptophan residue 1282). This conclusion is based on the reappearance of cAMP-activated chloride currents, the restoration of CFTR protein at the apical plasma membrane, and an increase in the abundance of CFTR mRNA levels from the W1282X allele.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Arginine / genetics
  • Bronchi / cytology
  • Bronchi / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chloride Channels / metabolism
  • Codon, Terminator
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator / genetics*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Gene Deletion
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Mutation*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism


  • CFTR protein, human
  • Chloride Channels
  • Codon, Terminator
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator
  • Arginine
  • Cyclic AMP