Physiological and pharmacological characterization of the N1303K mutant CFTR

Samantha DeStefano, Maarten Gees, Tzyh Chang Hwang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: N1303K, one of the common, severe disease-causing mutations in the CFTR gene, causes both defective biogenesis and gating abnormalities of the CFTR protein. The goals of the present study are to quantitatively assess the gating defects associated with the N1303K mutation and its pharmacological response to CFTR modulators including potentiators VX-770 and GLPG1837 and correctors VX-809, and VX-661. Methods: Gating behavior and pharmacological responses to CFTR potentiators were assessed using patch-clamp technique in the excised, inside-out mode. We also examined the effects of GLPG1837, VX-770, VX-809 and VX-661 on N1303K-CFTR surface expression using Western blot analysis. Results: Like wild-type (WT) CFTR, N1303K-CFTR channels were activated by protein kinase A-dependent phosphorylation, but the open probability (Po) of phosphorylated N1303K-CFTR was extremely low (~0.03 vs ~0.45 in WT channels). N1303K mutants showed abnormal responses to ATP analogs or mutations that disrupt ATP hydrolysis and/or dimerization of CFTR's two nucleotide-binding domains (NBDs). However, the Po of N1303K-CFTR was dramatically increased by GLPG1837 (~17-fold) and VX-770 (~8-fold). VX-809 or VX-661 enhanced N1303K-CFTR maturation by 2–3 fold, and co-treatment with GLPG1837 or VX-770 did not show any negative drug-drug interaction. Conclusion: N1303K has a severe gating defect, reduced ATP-dependence and aberrant response to ATP analogs. These results suggest a defective function of the NBDs in N1303K-CFTR. An improvement of channel function by GLPG1837 or VX-770 and an increase of Band C protein by VX-809 or VX-661 support a therapeutic strategy of combining CFTR potentiator and corrector for patients carrying the N1303K mutation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-581
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cystic Fibrosis
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Gating
  • GLPG1837
  • N1303K
  • VX-661
  • VX-770
  • VX-809


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