Abstract

Trikafta, currently the leading therapeutic in cystic fibrosis (CF), has demonstrated a real clinical benefit. This treatment is the triple combination therapy of two folding correctors elexacaftor/tezacaftor (VX445/VX661) plus the gating potentiator ivacaftor (VX770). In this study, our aim was to compare the properties of F508del-CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator) in cells treated with either lumacaftor (VX809), tezacaftor, elexacaftor, elexacaftor/tezacaftor with or without ivacaftor. We studied F508del-CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator) function, maturation and membrane localisation by Ussing chamber and whole-cell patch-clamp recordings, Western blot and immunolocalisation experiments. With human primary airway epithelial cells and the cell lines CFBE and BHK expressing F508del, we found that, whereas the combination elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor was efficient in rescuing F508del-CFTR abnormal maturation, apical membrane location and function, the presence of ivacaftor limits these effects. The basal F508del-CFTR short-circuit current was significantly increased by elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor and elexacaftor/tezacaftor compared to other correctors and nontreated cells, an effect dependent on ivacaftor and cAMP. These results suggest that the level of the basal F508del-CFTR current might be a marker for correction efficacy in CF cells. When cells were treated with ivacaftor combined to any correctors, the F508del-CFTR current was unresponsive to the subsequently acute addition of ivacaftor, unlike the CFTR potentiators genistein and Cact-A1 which increased elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor and elexacaftor/tezacaftor-corrected F508del-CFTR currents. These findings show that ivacaftor reduces the correction efficacy of Trikafta. Thus, combining elexacaftor/tezacaftor with a different potentiator might improve the therapeutic efficacy for treating CF patients.