2021 - The rescue of F508del-CFTR by elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor (Trikafta) in human airway epithelial cells is underestimated due to the presence of ivacaftor
Patchliner Publication in European Respiratory Journal (2021)
Becq F., Mirval S., Carrez T., Lévêque M., Billet A., Coraux C., Sage E., Cantereau A.
European Respiratory Journal (2021) doi:10.1183/13993003.00671-2021
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 in cells treated with either lumacaftor (VX809), tezacaftor, elexacaftor, elexacaftor/tezacaftor with or without ivacaftor. We studied F508del-CFTR function, maturation and membrane localisation by Ussing chamber and whole-cell patch clamp recordings, Western blot and immunolocalization 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 non-treated 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.