Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a common inherited fatal disease affecting 70,000 people worldwide, with a median predicted age of
survival of approximately 38 years. The deletion of Phenylalanine in position 508 of the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane conductance
Regulator (F508del-CFTR) is the most common mutation in CF patients: the deleted protein, not properly folded, is degraded. To date no
commercial drugs are available.
Low temperature, some osmolytes and conditions able to induce heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) expression and heat shock cognate 70
(Hsc70) inhibition result in F508del-CFTR rescue, hence restoring its physiological function: this review sheds light on the correlation
between these several evidences.
Interestingly, all these approaches have a role in the cell stress response (CSR), a set of cell reactions to stress. In addition, unpredictably,
F508del-CFTR rescue has to be considered in the frame of CSR: entities that induce - or are induced during - the CSR are, in general,
also able to correct trafficking defect of CFTR. Specifically, the low temperature induces, by definition, a CSR; osmolytes, such as glycerol
and trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), are products of the CSR; pharmacological correctors, such as Matrine and 4-phenylbutirric
acid (4PBA), down-regulate the constitutive Hsc70 in favor of an up-regulation of the inducible chaperone Hsp70, another component of
The identification of a common mechanism of action for different types of correctors could drive the discovery of new active molecules
in CF, overcoming methods clinically inapplicable, such as the low temperature.