In recent years, a number of drugs have been approved for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF). Among them, newly released Trikafta, a combination of 3 drugs (VX-661/VX-445/VX-770), holds great promise to radically improve the quality of life for a large portion of patients with CF carrying 1 copy of F508del, the most frequent CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) mutation. Currently available disease-modifying CF drugs work by rescuing the function of the mutated CFTR anion channel. Recent research has shown that membrane lipids, and the cell lipidome in general, play a significant role in the mechanism of CFTR-defective trafficking and, on the other hand, its rescue. In this paper, by using untargeted lipidomics on CFBE41o- cells, we identified distinctive changes in the bronchial epithelial cell lipidome associated with treatment with Trikafta and other CF drugs. Particularly interesting was the reduction of levels of ceramide, a known molecular player in the induction of apoptosis, which appeared to be associated with a decrease in the susceptibility of cells to undergo apoptosis. This evidence could account for additional beneficial roles of the triple combination of drugs on CF phenotypes.
Nara Liessi, Emanuela Pesce, Clarissa Braccia, Sine Mandrup Bertozzi, Alessandro Giraudo, Tiziano Bandiera, Nicoletta Pedemonte, Andrea Armirotti