Antihypertensive 1,4-dihydropyridines as correctors of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator channel gating defect caused by cystic fibrosis mutations

Nicoletta Pedemonte, Tullia Diena, Emanuela Caci, Erika Nieddu, Mauro Mazzei, Roberto Ravazzolo, Olga Zegarra-Moran, Luis J V Galietta

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Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) Cl- channel gene. CF mutations like ΔF508 cause both a mistrafficking of the protein and a gating defect. Other mutations, like G551D, cause only a gating defect. Our aim was to find chemical compounds able to stimulate the activity of CFTR mutant proteins by screening a library containing approved drugs. Two thousand compounds were tested on Fischer rat thyroid cells coexpressing ΔF508-CFTR and a halide-sensitive yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) after correction of the trafficking defect by low-temperature incubation. The YFP-based screening allowed the identification of the antihypertensive 1,4-dihydropyridines (DHPs) nifedipine, nicardipine, nimodipine, isradipine, nitrendipine, felodipine, and niguldipine as compounds able to activate ΔF508-CFTR. This effect was not derived from the inhibition of voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels, the pharmacological target of antihypertensive DHPs. Indeed, methyl-1,4-dihydro-2,6- dimethyl-3-nitro-4-2(trifluoromethylphenyl)pyridine-5-carboxylate (BayK-8644), a DHP that is effective as an activator of such channels, also stimulated CFTR activity. DHPs were also effective on the G551D-CFTR mutant by inducing a 16- to 45-fold increase of the CFTR Cl- currents. DHP activity was confirmed in airway epithelial cells from patients with CF. DHPs may represent a novel class of therapeutic agents able to correct the defect caused by a set of CF mutations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1736-1746
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Pharmacology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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