Dysregulated signalling pathways in innate immune cells with cystic fibrosis mutations

Samuel Lara-Reyna, Jonathan Holbrook, Heledd H Jarosz-Griffiths, Daniel Peckham, Michael F McDermott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is one of the most common life-limiting recessive genetic disorders in Caucasians, caused by mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). CF is a multi-organ disease that involves the lungs, pancreas, sweat glands, digestive and reproductive systems and several other tissues. This debilitating condition is associated with recurrent lower respiratory tract bacterial and viral infections, as well as inflammatory complications that may eventually lead to pulmonary failure. Immune cells play a crucial role in protecting the organs against opportunistic infections and also in the regulation of tissue homeostasis. Innate immune cells are generally affected by CFTR mutations in patients with CF, leading to dysregulation of several cellular signalling pathways that are in continuous use by these cells to elicit a proper immune response. There is substantial evidence to show that airway epithelial cells, neutrophils, monocytes and macrophages all contribute to the pathogenesis of CF, underlying the importance of the CFTR in innate immune responses. The goal of this review is to put into context the important role of the CFTR in different innate immune cells and how CFTR dysfunction contributes to the pathogenesis of CF, highlighting several signalling pathways that may be dysregulated in cells with CFTR mutations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4485-4503
Number of pages19
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Animals
  • Cystic Fibrosis/genetics
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator/genetics
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate/genetics
  • Mutation/genetics
  • Signal Transduction/genetics


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