Disease-causing mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator determine the functional responses of alveolar macrophages.

Department of Neurobiology, Pharmacology, and Physiology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.6). 10/2009; 284(51):35926-38. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M109.057372
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Alveolar macrophages (AMs) play a major role in host defense against microbial infections in the lung. To perform this function, these cells must ingest and destroy pathogens, generally in phagosomes, as well as secrete a number of products that signal other immune cells to respond. Recently, we demonstrated that murine alveolar macrophages employ the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) Cl(-) channel as a determinant in lysosomal acidification (Di, A., Brown, M. E., Deriy, L. V., Li, C., Szeto, F. L., Chen, Y., Huang, P., Tong, J., Naren, A. P., Bindokas, V., Palfrey, H. C., and Nelson, D. J. (2006) Nat. Cell Biol. 8, 933-944). Lysosomes and phagosomes in murine cftr(-/-) AMs failed to acidify, and the cells were deficient in bacterial killing compared with wild type controls. Cystic fibrosis is caused by mutations in CFTR and is characterized by chronic lung infections. The information about relationships between the CFTR genotype and the disease phenotype is scarce both on the organismal and cellular level. The most common disease-causing mutation, DeltaF508, is found in 70% of patients with cystic fibrosis. The mutant protein fails to fold properly and is targeted for proteosomal degradation. G551D, the second most common mutation, causes loss of function of the protein at the plasma membrane. In this study, we have investigated the impact of CFTR DeltaF508 and G551D on a set of core intracellular functions, including organellar acidification, granule secretion, and microbicidal activity in the AM. Utilizing primary AMs from wild type, cftr(-/-), as well as mutant mice, we show a tight correlation between CFTR genotype and levels of lysosomal acidification, bacterial killing, and agonist-induced secretory responses, all of which would be expected to contribute to a significant impact on microbial clearance in the lung.

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