Genetic variation in CFTR and modifier loci may modulate cystic fibrosis disease severity.
Paranjapye A., Ruffin M., Harris A., Corvol H.
In patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), genetic variants within and outside the CFTR locus contribute to the variability of the disease severity. CFTR transcription is tightly regulated by cis-regulatory elements (CREs) that control the three-dimensional structure of the locus, chromatin accessibility and transcription factor recruitment. Variants within these CREs may contribute to the pathophysiology and to the phenotypic heterogeneity by altering CFTR transcript abundance. In addition to the CREs, variants outside the CFTR locus, namely "modifiers genes", may also be associated with the clinical variability. This review addresses variants at the CFTR locus itself and CFTR CREs, together with the outcomes of the latest modifier gene studies with respect to the different CF phenotypes.