Over the last years, a number of drugs have been approved for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF). Among them, the new Trikafta, a combination of three drugs, holds great promises to radically improve the quality of life for a large part of CF patients carrying one copy of the most frequent CFTR mutation: F508del. Currently available, disease-modifying, CF drugs work by rescuing the function of mutated CFTR (Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator) anion channel. Recent research work shows 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, in its rescue. In this paper, by using untargeted lipidomics on CFBE41o– cells, we identified distinctive changes in bronchial epithelial cell lipidome associated with treatment with the triple combination VX-661/VX-445/VX-770 (drug name: Trikafta) and other CF drugs. Particularly interesting is the reduction of ceramide levels, known molecular players in the induction of apoptosis, that appears to be associated with a decrease in cell susceptibility to undergo apoptosis. This evidence could account for additional beneficial role of the triple combination on CF phenotypes.
Nara Liessi, Emanuela Pesce, Clarissa Braccia, Sine Mandrup Bertozzi, Alessandro Giraudo, Tiziano Bandiera, Nicoletta Pedemonte, Andrea Armirotti