Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Jan 18;119(3):e2114886119. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2114886119
CFTR gene mutations that result in the introduction of premature termination codons (PTCs) are common in cystic fibrosis (CF). This mutation type causes a severe form of the disease, likely because of low CFTR messenger RNA (mRNA) expression as a result of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay, as well as the production of a nonfunctional, truncated CFTR protein. Current therapeutics for CF, which target residual protein function, are less effective in patients with these types of mutations due in part to low CFTR protein levels. Splice-switching antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs), designed to induce skipping of exons in order to restore the mRNA open reading frame, have shown therapeutic promise preclinically and clinically for a number of diseases. We hypothesized that ASO-mediated skipping of CFTR exon 23 would recover CFTR activity associated with terminating mutations in the exon, including CFTR p.W1282X, the fifth most common mutation in CF. Here, we show that CFTR lacking the amino acids encoding exon 23 is partially functional and responsive to corrector and modulator drugs currently in clinical use. ASO-induced exon 23 skipping rescued CFTR expression and chloride current in primary human bronchial epithelial cells isolated from a homozygote CFTR-W1282X patient. These results support the use of ASOs in treating CF patients with CFTR class I mutations in exon 23 that result in unstable CFTR mRNA and truncations of the CFTR protein.
Organism or Cell Type:
cell culture: CFF16hBEge-W1282X-SCC:3F2, primary hBE
Endo-Porter, osmotic shock