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Readthrough-induced misincorporated amino acid ratios guide mutant-specific therapeutic approaches for two CFTR nonsense mutations

Affiliation
Department of Physiology ,McGill University ,Montréal ,QC ,Canada
Premchandar, Aiswarya;
Affiliation
Department of Physiology ,McGill University ,Montréal ,QC ,Canada
Ming, Ruiji;
Affiliation
Department of Physiology ,McGill University ,Montréal ,QC ,Canada
Baiad, Abed;
Affiliation
Department of Physiology ,McGill University ,Montréal ,QC ,Canada
Da Fonte, Dillon F.;
Affiliation
Department of Physiology ,McGill University ,Montréal ,QC ,Canada
Xu, Haijin;
Affiliation
IRCM Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Platform ,Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal ,Montréal ,QC ,Canada
Faubert, Denis;
Affiliation
Department of Physiology ,McGill University ,Montréal ,QC ,Canada
Veit, Guido;
Affiliation
Department of Physiology ,McGill University ,Montréal ,QC ,Canada
Lukacs, Gergely L.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a monogenic disease caused by mutations in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator ( CFTR ) gene. Premature termination codons (PTCs) represent ∼9% of CF mutations that typically cause severe expression defects of the CFTR anion channel. Despite the prevalence of PTCs as the underlying cause of genetic diseases, understanding the therapeutic susceptibilities of their molecular defects, both at the transcript and protein levels remains partially elucidated. Given that the molecular pathologies depend on the PTC positions in CF, multiple pharmacological interventions are required to suppress the accelerated nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), to correct the CFTR conformational defect caused by misincorporated amino acids, and to enhance the inefficient stop codon readthrough. The G418-induced readthrough outcome was previously investigated only in reporter models that mimic the impact of the local sequence context on PTC mutations in CFTR. To identify the misincorporated amino acids and their ratios for PTCs in the context of full-length CFTR readthrough, we developed an affinity purification (AP)-tandem mass spectrometry (AP-MS/MS) pipeline. We confirmed the incorporation of Cys, Arg, and Trp residues at the UGA stop codons of G542X, R1162X, and S1196X in CFTR. Notably, we observed that the Cys and Arg incorporation was favored over that of Trp into these CFTR PTCs, suggesting that the transcript sequence beyond the proximity of PTCs and/or other factors can impact the amino acid incorporation and full-length CFTR functional expression. Additionally, establishing the misincorporated amino acid ratios in the readthrough CFTR PTCs aided in maximizing the functional rescue efficiency of PTCs by optimizing CFTR modulator combinations. Collectively, our findings contribute to the understanding of molecular defects underlying various CFTR nonsense mutations and provide a foundation to refine mutation-dependent therapeutic strategies for various CF-causing nonsense mutations.

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License Holder: Copyright © 2024 Premchandar, Ming, Baiad, Da Fonte, Xu, Faubert, Veit and Lukacs.

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