Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Gene expression profile study in CFTR mutated bronchial cell lines.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the cystic fibrosis conductance transmembrane regulator (CFTR). Symptoms are pancreatic insufficiency, chronic obstructive lung disease, liver disease, chronic sinusitis and infertility in male patients. The phenotypic variability may be explained only in part by the more than 1200 CFTR mutations, which are grouped into six different classes, according to their effect on the protein ranging from a severe (no synthesis or blocked processing) to mild mutation (altered conductance or reduced synthesis). However, it is now accepted that other genes (CF modifiers) influence the phenotypic spectrum of the disease. In order to identify CF modifier genes, we built a low-density home-made oligoarray containing 144 genes selected according to biochemical criteria and evaluated their expression in two CF bronchial epithelial cell lines (CuFi1 F508del/F508del; CuFi3 F508del/R553X). If we consider both cell lines, 38 genes (26.3%) show an altered expression pattern with a threshold > +/-1.5. Of these 38 genes, 12 are altered in CuFi1, and 26 in CuFi3. Some of these genes share the same expression pattern in both cell lines, while others have a different behaviour. These results were validated by a QRT-PCR assay (R2 CuFi1 = 0.81 and R2 CuFi3 = 0.91). These data could suggest that the presence of a class I allele (R553X) determines a more profound alteration of gene expression pattern than the presence of a class II allele (F508del). The identification of the genes altered by a specific CF mutation could lead to the development of a pharmacological approach specific for different CFTR genotypes.

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