Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Insights into a new therapy for a rare form of cystic fibrosis

Scientists at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto have established that a drug recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat a rare form of cystic fibrosis works in an unconventional way. Their results reveal new possibilities for treating various forms of cystic fibrosis.

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease afflicting about 70,000 people around the world. Cystic fibrosis patients carry a defective gene that disables or destroys its protein product, which normally regulates the transport of ions across cell borders.

When that transport is disrupted, the viscosity of the mucus coating certain organs becomes too thick. A characteristic feature of the disease is thick mucus buildup in the air passages, which causes difficulty breathing and recurring infections.

While the FDA approved the drug VX-770 (also known by the trade names Kalydeco and Ivacaftor) to ease breathing in people with cystic fibrosis caused by a particular mutation in the CFTR protein (the acronym is short for cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator), exactly how VX-770 worked in those patients was unknown.

Scientists have understood for some time that normal CFTR regulation requires modification of the protein and binding of a small, energy-providing molecule – adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. But, in their recent Journal of Biological Chemistry "Paper of the Week," Christine Bear and colleagues report that the drug opens both normal and mutant CFTR channels without ATP. Their results indicate that the compound binds to a different site on CTFR than ATP. Significantly, this finding may be useful in developing therapies for cystic fibrosis caused by various CFTR mutations that, like the G551D mutation that was studied, impair ATP-mediated channel regulation.

Bear's group determined how VX-770 works after developing a new experimental system that may have potential for discovering drugs that target the basic defects caused by CFTR mutations, Bear says. The system is useful for identifying compounds that interact with rare mutations such as G551D as well as the major CFTR mutant F508del, she said.

From the article: "CFTR potentiator VX-770 (Ivacaftor) opens the defective channel gate of mutant CFTR in a phosphorylation-dependent but ATP-independent manner" by Paul D.W. Eckford, Canhui Li, Mohabir Ramjeesingh and Christine E. Bear.

Corresponding author: Christine E. Bear, Programme of Molecular Structure & Function, Research Institute, Hospital for Sick Children, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; email:

Written by Danielle Gutierrez

Angela Hopp | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Here comes the long-sought-after iron-munching microbe
25.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für marine Mikrobiologie

nachricht Novel method to benchmark and improve the performance of protein measumeasurement techniques
25.10.2016 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

First-time reconstruction of infectious bat influenza viruses

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Novel method to benchmark and improve the performance of protein measumeasurement techniques

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Amazon rain helps make more rain

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>