Human Molecular Genetics vol:7 issue:11 pages:1761-9
In order to gain a better insight into the structure and function of the regulatory domain (RD) of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein, 19 RD missense mutations that had been identified in patients were functionally characterized. Nine of these (I601F, L610S, A613T, D614G, I618T, L619S, H620P, G628R and L633P) resulted in aberrant processing. No or a very small number of functional CFTR proteins will therefore appear at the cell membrane in cells expressing these mutants. These mutations were clustered in the N-terminal part of the RD, suggesting that this subdomain has a folding pattern that is very sensitive to amino acid changes. Mutations that caused no aberrant processing were further characterized at the electrophysiological level. First, they were studied at the whole cell level in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Mutants that induced a whole cell current that was significantly different from wild-type CFTR were subsequently analysed at the single channel level in COS1 cells transiently expressing the different mutant and wild-type proteins. Three mutant chloride channels, G622D, R792G and E822K CFTR, were characterized by significantly lower intrinsic chloride channel activities compared with wild-type CFTR. Two mutations, H620Q and A800G, resulted in increased intrinsic chloride transport activities. Finally, T665S and E826K CFTR had single channel properties not significantly different from wild-type CFTR.