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Mucus, mucins, and cystic fibrosis.

08:00 EDT 1st November 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Mucus, mucins, and cystic fibrosis."

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is both the most common and most lethal genetic disease in the Caucasian population. CF is caused by mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene and is characterized by the accumulation of thick, adherent mucus plaques in multiple organs, of which the lungs, gastrointestinal tract and pancreatic ducts are the most commonly affected. A similar pathogenesis cascade is observed in all of these organs: loss of CFTR function leads to altered ion transport, consisting of decreased chloride and bicarbonate secretion via the CFTR channel and increased sodium absorption via epithelial sodium channel upregulation. Mucosa exposed to changes in ionic concentrations sustain severe pathophysiological consequences. Altered mucus biophysical properties and weakened innate defense mechanisms ensue, furthering the progression of the disease. Mucins, the high-molecular-weight glycoproteins responsible for the viscoelastic properties of the mucus, play a key role in the disease but the actual mechanism of mucus accumulation is still undetermined. Multiple hypotheses regarding the impact of CFTR malfunction on mucus have been proposed and are reviewed here. (a) Dehydration increases mucin monomer entanglement, (b) defective Ca chelation compromises mucin expansion, (c) ionic changes alter mucin interactions, and (d) reactive oxygen species increase mucin crosslinking. Although one biochemical change may dominate, it is likely that all of these mechanisms play some role in the progression of CF disease. This article discusses recent findings on the initial cause(s) of aberrant mucus properties in CF and examines therapeutic approaches aimed at correcting mucus properties.

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Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Pediatric pulmonology
ISSN: 1099-0496
Pages: S84-S96

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

An autosomal recessive genetic disease of the EXOCRINE GLANDS. It is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the CYSTIC FIBROSIS TRANSMEMBRANE CONDUCTANCE REGULATOR expressed in several organs including the LUNG, the PANCREAS, the BILIARY SYSTEM, and the SWEAT GLANDS. Cystic fibrosis is characterized by epithelial secretory dysfunction associated with ductal obstruction resulting in AIRWAY OBSTRUCTION; chronic RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS; PANCREATIC INSUFFICIENCY; maldigestion; salt depletion; and HEAT PROSTRATION.

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