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Cystic fibrosis is the commonest, fatal, inherited disease of caucasian populations occurring with a frequency of 1 in 2000 live births. The CF gene spans about 230 kb of genomic DNA and encodes a protein of 1480 amino acids named the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). The primary sequence predicts that CFTR is an ABC type protein with twelve transmembrane spans, two nucleotide binding domains and a cytoplasmic regulatory domain. CFTR functions as a cyclic AMP-regulated, low conductance, chloride channel in epithelial cells, but other roles are possible. Failure of the CFTR channel in CF reduces epithelial salt and water secretion, leading to a dehydration of epithelial surfaces which initiates the pathology of the disease.


Journal article


Semin Cell Biol

Publication Date





37 - 44


Chloride Channels, Chromosome Mapping, Cyclic AMP, Cystic Fibrosis, Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator, Humans, Ion Channels, Membrane Proteins, Mutation