The search for the basic defect in cystic fibrosis (CF) has reached a decisive stage since the recent identification of the responsible gene. Electrophysiological and biochemical research had defined the CF defect as a dysregulation of epithelial chloride channels. The putative protein product of the now identified gene shares properties with other known transport proteins, but it is not necessarily itself a chloride channel protein. Elucidation of the primary cellular defect will certainly have important aetiological and hopefully therapeutic implications. The identification of the major gene mutation already has significant consequences for genetic counselling and prenatal diagnosis. Heterozygote detection at the population level awaits identification of the probably heterogenous mutations on about 30% of the CF chromosomes. At present, about 50% of CF patients are homozygous for the recently identified major CF mutation.

Chloride channels, Cystic fibrosis, Gene, Genetic counseling
dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF01959519, hdl.handle.net/1765/62840
European Journal of Pediatrics
Department of Clinical Genetics

Halley, D.J.J, Bijman, J, de Jonge, H.R, Sinaasappel, M, Neijens, H.J, & Niermeijer, M.F. (1990). The cystic fibrosis defect approached from different angles - New perspectives on the gene, the chloride channel, diagnosis and therapy. European Journal of Pediatrics (Vol. 149, pp. 670–677). doi:10.1007/BF01959519