Trafficking of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is central to its function, with the most common mutation, δF508, resulting in abnormal processing and trafficking. Therefore, there is a significant need to develop tools, which enable the trafficking of CFTR to be studied in vitro and in vivo. In previous studies it has been demonstrated that fusion of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) to the N-terminus of CFTR does lead to functional expression of CFTR chloride channels in epithelial cell lines. The aim of the present study was to examine whether it is possible to express GFP-tagged CFTR as a transgene in colonic and airway epithelial cells of cystic fibrosis (CF) mice and to correct the CF defect. Using the epithelial-specific human cytokeratin promoter K18, we generated bitransgenic mice cftr(551D/G551D) K18-GFP-CFTR+/-, designated GFP mice. Transcripts for GFP-CFTR could be detected in bitransgenic mice by use of RT-PCR techniques. Expression of GFP-CFTR protein was detected specifically in the colonic epithelium by both direct GFP fluorescence and the use of an anti-GFP antibody. Ussing chamber studies showed that the ion transport defect in colon and airways observed in cftr G551D/G5S1D mice was partially corrected in the bitransgenic animals. Thus, K18-GFP-CFTR is functionally expressed in transgenic mice, which will be a valuable tool in studies on CFTR synthesis, processing and ion transport in native epithelial tissues.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 25, 2002
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