In order to determine the possible role of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) gene in pulmonary diseases not due to cystic fibrosis, a complete screening of the CFTR gene was performed in 120 Italian patients with disseminated bronchiectasis of unknown cause (DBE), chronic bronchitis (CB), pulmonary emphy sema (E), lung cancer (LC), sarcoidosis (S) and other forms of pulmonary disease. The 27 exons of the CFTR gene and their intronic flanking regions were analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and automatic sequencing. Mutations were detected in 11/23 DBE (P = 0.009), 7/25 E, 5/27 CB, 5/26 LC, 5/8 S (P = 0.013), 1/4 tuberculosis, and 1/5 pneumonia patients, and in 5/33 controls. Moreover, the IVS8-5T allele was detected in 6/25 E patients (P = 0.038). Four new mutations were identified: D651N, 2377C/T, E826K, and P1072L. These results confirm the involvement of the CFTR gene in disseminated bronchiectasis of unknown origin, and suggest a possible role for CFTR gene mutations in sarcoidosis, and for the 5T allele in pulmonary emphysema.
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