Mechanism-based corrector combination restores ?F508-CFTR folding and function.
ABSTRACT: The most common cystic fibrosis mutation, ?F508 in nucleotide binding domain 1 (NBD1), impairs cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR)-coupled domain folding, plasma membrane expression, function and stability. VX-809, a promising investigational corrector of ?F508-CFTR misprocessing, has limited clinical benefit and an incompletely understood mechanism, hampering drug development. Given the effect of second-site suppressor mutations, robust ?F508-CFTR correction most likely requires stabilization of NBD1 energetics and the interface between membrane-spanning domains (MSDs) and NBD1, which are both established primary conformational defects. Here we elucidate the molecular targets of available correctors: class I stabilizes the NBD1-MSD1 and NBD1-MSD2 interfaces, and class II targets NBD2. Only chemical chaperones, surrogates of class III correctors, stabilize human ?F508-NBD1. Although VX-809 can correct missense mutations primarily destabilizing the NBD1-MSD1/2 interface, functional plasma membrane expression of ?F508-CFTR also requires compounds that counteract the NBD1 and NBD2 stability defects in cystic fibrosis bronchial epithelial cells and intestinal organoids. Thus, the combination of structure-guided correctors represents an effective approach for cystic fibrosis therapy.
Project description:The most prevalent cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) mutation causing cystic fibrosis, ?F508, impairs folding of nucleotide binding domain (NBD) 1 and stability of the interface between NBD1 and the membrane-spanning domains. The interfacial stability defect can be partially corrected by the investigational drug VX-809 (3-[6-[[[1-(2,2-difluoro-1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl)cyclopropyl]carbonyl]amino]-3-methyl-2-pyridinyl]-benzoic acid) or the R1070W mutation. Second-generation ?F508-CFTR correctors are needed to improve on the modest efficacy of existing cystic fibrosis correctors. We postulated that a second corrector targeting a distinct folding/interfacial defect might act in synergy with VX-809 or the R1070W suppressor mutation. A biochemical screen for ?F508-CFTR cell surface expression was developed in a human lung epithelium-derived cell line (CFBE41o(-)) by expressing chimeric CFTRs with a horseradish peroxidase (HRP) in the fourth exofacial loop in either the presence or absence of R1070W. Using a luminescence readout of HRP activity, screening of approximately 110,000 small molecules produced nine novel corrector scaffolds that increased cell surface ?F508-CFTR expression by up to 200% in the presence versus absence of maximal VX-809. Further screening of 1006 analogs of compounds identified from the primary screen produced 15 correctors with an EC50 < 5 µM. Eight chemical scaffolds showed synergy with VX-809 in restoring chloride permeability in ?F508-expressing A549 cells. An aminothiazole increased chloride conductance in human bronchial epithelial cells from a ?F508 homozygous subject beyond that of maximal VX-809. Mechanistic studies suggested that NBD2 is required for the aminothiazole rescue. Our results provide proof of concept for synergy screening to identify second-generation correctors, which, when used in combination, may overcome the "therapeutic ceiling" of first-generation correctors.
Project description:The missing phenylalanine at position 508, located in nucleotide-binding domain (NBD1) of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR), is the most common cystic fibrosis mutation. Severe disease-causing mutations also occur in NBD2. To provide information on potential therapeutic strategies for mutations in NBD2, we used a combination of biochemical, cell biological and electrophysiological approaches and newly created cell lines to study two disease-causing NBD2 mutants, N1303K and S1235R. We observed that neither was sensitive to E64, a cysteine protease inhibitor. However, further investigation showed that when treated with a combination of correctors, C4?+?C18, both mutants also responded to E64. Further exploration to assess aggresome throughput using the autophagy regulator LC3 as a marker showed that, in the absence of correctors, N1303K showed a stalled throughput of LC3-II to the aggresome. The throughput became active again after treatment with the corrector combination C4?+?C18. Confocal microscopic studies showed that the N1303K and S1235R mutant proteins both co-localized with LC3, but this co-localization was abolished by the corrector combination and, to a lesser extent, by VX-809. Both the corrector combination and VX-809 increased the CFTR chloride channel function of both mutants. We conclude that correctors have a dual effect, particularly on N1303K: they improve trafficking and function at the plasma membrane and reduce the association with autophagosomes. After treatment with correctors persistent degradation by the autophagosome may limit restoration of function. Thus, mutations in NBD2 of CFTR, in contrast to ?F508-CFTR, may require additional personalized strategies to rescue them.
Project description:Based on its clinical benefits, Trikafta - the combination of folding correctors VX-661 (tezacaftor), VX-445 (elexacaftor), and the gating potentiator VX-770 (ivacaftor) - was FDA approved for treatment of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) carrying deletion of phenylalanine at position 508 (F508del) of the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) on at least 1 allele. Neither the mechanism of action of VX-445 nor the susceptibility of rare CF folding mutants to Trikafta are known. Here, we show that, in human bronchial epithelial cells, VX-445 synergistically restores F508del-CFTR processing in combination with type I or II correctors that target the nucleotide binding domain 1 (NBD1) membrane spanning domains (MSDs) interface and NBD2, respectively, consistent with a type III corrector mechanism. This inference was supported by the VX-445 binding to and unfolding suppression of the isolated F508del-NBD1 of CFTR. The VX-661 plus VX-445 treatment restored F508del-CFTR chloride channel function in the presence of VX-770 to approximately 62% of WT CFTR in homozygous nasal epithelia. Substantial rescue of rare misprocessing mutations (S13F, R31C, G85E, E92K, V520F, M1101K, and N1303K), confined to MSD1, MSD2, NBD1, and NBD2 of CFTR, was also observed in airway epithelia, suggesting an allosteric correction mechanism and the possible application of Trikafta for patients with rare misfolding mutants of CFTR.
Project description:Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a fatal genetic disorder associated with defective hydration of lung airways due to the loss of chloride transport through the CF transmembrane conductance regulator protein (CFTR). CFTR contains two membrane-spanning domains (MSDs), two nucleotide-binding domains (NBDs), and a regulatory domain, and its channel assembly requires multiple interdomain contacts. The most common CF-causing mutation, F508del, occurs in NBD1 and results in misfolding and premature degradation of F508del-CFTR. VX-809 is an investigational CFTR corrector that partially restores CFTR function in people who are homozygous for F508del-CFTR. To identify the folding defect(s) in F508del-CFTR that must be repaired to treat CF, we explored the mechanism of VX-809 action. VX-809 stabilized an N-terminal domain in CFTR that contains only MSD1 and efficaciously restored function to CFTR forms that have missense mutations in MSD1. The action of VX-809 on MSD1 appears to suppress folding defects in F508del-CFTR by enhancing interactions among the NBD1, MSD1, and MSD2 domains. The ability of VX-809 to correct F508del-CFTR is enhanced when combined with mutations that improve F508del-NBD1 interaction with MSD2. These data suggest that the use of VX-809 in combination with an additional CFTR corrector that suppresses folding defects downstream of MSD1 may further enhance CFTR function in people with F508del-CFTR.
Project description:Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by mutations in the CF transmembrane regulator (CFTR) that result in reduced anion conductance at the apical membrane of secretory epithelia. Treatment of CF patients carrying the G551D gating mutation with the potentiator VX-770 (ivacaftor) largely restores channel activity and has shown substantial clinical benefit. However, most CF patients carry the ?F508 mutation, which impairs CFTR folding, processing, function, and stability. Studies in homozygous ?F508 CF patients indicated little clinical benefit of monotherapy with the investigational corrector VX-809 (lumacaftor) or VX-770, whereas combination clinical trials show limited but significant improvements in lung function. We show that VX-770, as well as most other potentiators, reduces the correction efficacy of VX-809 and another investigational corrector, VX-661. To mimic the administration of VX-770 alone or in combination with VX-809, we examined its long-term effect in immortalized and primary human respiratory epithelia. VX-770 diminished the folding efficiency and the metabolic stability of ?F508-CFTR at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and post-ER compartments, respectively, causing reduced cell surface ?F508-CFTR density and function. VX-770-induced destabilization of ?F508-CFTR was influenced by second-site suppressor mutations of the folding defect and was prevented by stabilization of the nucleotide-binding domain 1 (NBD1)-NBD2 interface. The reduced correction efficiency of ?F508-CFTR, as well as of two other processing mutations in the presence of VX-770, suggests the need for further optimization of potentiators to maximize the clinical benefit of corrector-potentiator combination therapy in CF.
Project description:Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by mutations in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). Newly developed "correctors" such as lumacaftor (VX-809) that improve CFTR maturation and trafficking and "potentiators" such as ivacaftor (VX-770) that enhance channel activity may provide important advances in CF therapy. Although VX-770 has demonstrated substantial clinical efficacy in the small subset of patients with a mutation (G551D) that affects only channel activity, a single compound is not sufficient to treat patients with the more common CFTR mutation, ?F508. Thus, patients with ?F508 will likely require treatment with both correctors and potentiators to achieve clinical benefit. However, whereas the effectiveness of acute treatment with this drug combination has been demonstrated in vitro, the impact of chronic therapy has not been established. In studies of human primary airway epithelial cells, we found that both acute and chronic treatment with VX-770 improved CFTR function in cells with the G551D mutation, consistent with clinical studies. In contrast, chronic VX-770 administration caused a dose-dependent reversal of VX-809-mediated CFTR correction in ?F508 homozygous cultures. This result reflected the destabilization of corrected ?F508 CFTR by VX-770, markedly increasing its turnover rate. Chronic VX-770 treatment also reduced mature wild-type CFTR levels and function. These findings demonstrate that chronic treatment with CFTR potentiators and correctors may have unexpected effects that cannot be predicted from short-term studies. Combining these drugs to maximize rescue of ?F508 CFTR may require changes in dosing and/or development of new potentiator compounds that do not interfere with CFTR stability.
Project description:Pharmacological chaperones (e.g. VX-809, lumacaftor) that bind directly to F508del-CFTR and correct its mislocalization are promising therapeutics for Cystic Fibrosis (CF). However to date, individual correctors provide only ~4% improvement in lung function measured as FEV1, suggesting that multiple drugs will be needed to achieve substantial clinical benefit. Here we examine if multiple sites for pharmacological chaperones exist and can be targeted to enhance the rescue of F508del-CFTR with the premise that additive or synergistic rescue by multiple pharmacological chaperones compared to single correctors indicates that they have different sites of action. First, we found that a combination of the pharmacological chaperones VX-809 and RDR1 provide additive correction of F508del-CFTR. Then using cellular thermal stability assays (CETSA) we demonstrated the possibility of a third pharmacologically important site using the novel pharmacological chaperone tool compound 4-methyl-N-[3-(morpholin-4-yl) quinoxalin-2-yl] benzenesulfonamide (MCG1516A). All three pharmacological chaperones appear to interact with the first nucleotide-binding domain (NBD1). The triple combination of MCG1516A, RDR1, and VX-809 restored CFTR function to >20% that of non-CF cells in well differentiated HBE cells and to much higher levels in other cell types. Thus the results suggest the presence of at least three distinct sites for pharmacological chaperones on F508del-CFTR NBD1, encouraging the development of triple corrector combinations.
Project description:The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) architecture consists of two membrane spanning domains (MSD1 and -2), two nucleotide binding domains (NBD1 and -2), and a regulatory (R) domain. Several point mutations lead to the channel misprocessing, with limited structural perturbation of the mutant domain. To gain more insight into the basis of CFTR folding defect, the contribution of domain-wise and cooperative domain folding was assessed by determining 1) the minimal domain combination that is recognized as native and can efficiently escape the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) retention and 2) the impact of mutation on the conformational coupling among domains. One-, two-, three-, and most of the four-domain assemblies were retained at the ER. Solubilization mutations, however, rescued the NBD1 processing defect conceivably by thermodynamic stabilization. The smallest folding unit that traversed the secretory pathway was composed of MSD1-NBD1-R-MSD2 as a linear or split polypeptide. Cystic fibrosis-causing missense mutations in the MSD1, NBD1, MSD2, and NBD2 caused conformational defect in multiple domains. We propose that cooperative posttranslational folding is required for domain stabilization and provides a plausible explanation for the global misfolding caused by point mutations dispersed along the full-length CFTR.
Project description:Cystic fibrosis (CF), the most common recessive autosomal disease among Caucasians, is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein. The most common mutation, F508del, leads to CFTR impaired plasma membrane trafficking. Therapies modulating CFTR basic defect are emerging, such as VX-809, a corrector of F508del-CFTR traffic which just succeeded in a Phase III clinical trial. We recently showed that VX-809 is additive to two other correctors (VRT-325 and compound 4a). Here, we aimed to determine whether the differential rescuing by these compounds results from cell-specific factors or rather from distinct effects at the early biogenesis and/or processing. The rescuing efficiencies of the above three correctors were first compared in different cellular models (primary respiratory cells, cystic fibrosis bronchial epithelial and baby hamster kidney [BHK] cell lines) by functional approaches: micro-Ussing chamber and iodide efflux. Next, biochemical methods (metabolic labeling, pulse-chase and immunoprecipitation) were used to determine their impact on CFTR biogenesis / processing. Functional analyses revealed that VX-809 has the greatest rescuing efficacy and that the relative efficiencies of the three compounds are essentially maintained in all three cellular models tested. Nevertheless, biochemical data show that VX-809 significantly stabilizes F508del-CFTR immature form, an effect that is not observed for C3 nor C4. VX-809 and C3 also significantly increase accumulation of immature CFTR. Our data suggest that VX-809 increases the stability of F508del-CFTR immature form at an early phase of its biogenesis, thus explaining its increased efficacy when inducing its rescue.
Project description:The deletion of Phe508 (?F508) in the first nucleotide binding domain (NBD1) of CFTR is the most common mutation associated with cystic fibrosis. The ?F508-CFTR mutant is recognized as improperly folded and targeted for proteasomal degradation. Based on molecular dynamics simulation results, we hypothesized that interaction between ?F508-NBD1 and housekeeping proteins prevents ?F508-CFTR delivery to the plasma membrane. Based on this assumption we applied structure-based virtual screening to identify new low-molecular-weight compounds that should bind to ?F508-NBD1 and act as protein-protein interaction inhibitors. Using different functional assays for CFTR activity, we demonstrated that in silico-selected compounds induced functional expression of ?F508-CFTR in transfected HeLa cells, human bronchial CF cells in primary culture, and in the nasal epithelium of homozygous ?F508-CFTR mice. The proposed compounds disrupt keratin8-?F508-CFTR interaction in ?F508-CFTR HeLa cells. Structural analysis of ?F508-NBD1 in the presence of these compounds suggests their binding to NBD1. We conclude that our strategy leads to the discovery of new compounds that are among the most potent correctors of ?F508-CFTR trafficking defect known to date.