The most common mutation of the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR), deltaF508-CFTR, is a trafficking mutant that retains some chloride transport function but is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and targeted for rapid intracellular degradation, at least in part by the ubiquitin/proteasome system. Because deltaF508-CFTR retains chloride transport function, we, and others have examined the hypothesis that restoration or repair of deltaF508-CFTR trafficking will restore CFTR function to Cystic Fibrosis (CF) epithelia. Initially these investigations have concentrated on CFTR's chloride transport function, but recent evidence suggests that CFTR also has critical functions in regulating epithelial transport of other ions, such as sodium via the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) and bicarbonate. As hyperfunction of ENaC is hypothesized to be critical in the pathophysiology of the CF airway, determining the influence of agents that repair deltaF508-CFTR trafficking on ENaC functional expression is critical in evaluating the eventual efficacy and utility of such deltaF508-CFTR repair strategies. DeltaF508-CFTR's trafficking defect can be repaired in vitro and partially in vivo by the pharmaceutical agent sodium 4- phenylbutyrate (4PBA), a known regulator of gene transcription. However, neither the mechanism by which 4PBA repairs deltaF508-CFTR trafficking, nor its effects on ENaC functional expression are known. The general hypothesis of this proposal is that 4PBA repairs the intracellular trafficking of deltaF508-CFTR by regulation of a protein or proteins important in the folding of nascent proteins and targeting of misfolded proteins for intracellular degradation. We will also test the hypothesis that such regulation of protein folding and trafficking by 4PBA will also modulate the functional expression of ENaC. The present proposal addresses these hypotheses with studies directed at the following Specific Aims: 1) To determine whether specific modulation of expression of molecular chaperones in vitro by means other than 4PBA treatment results in alterations in CFTR and deltaF508-CFTR intracellular trafficking. 2) To determine the mechanism by which 4PBA leads to it intracellular effects. 3) To assess the effect of modulation of expression of molecular chaperones on ENaC intracellular trafficking and expression.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-GTIE (90))
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Mckeon, Catherine T
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Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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