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Airway acidification initiates host defense abnormalities in cystic fibrosis mice

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Science  29 Jan 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6272, pp. 503-507
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad5589

Airway infections put to an acid test

Most people with cystic fibrosis suffer from chronic respiratory infections. The mechanistic link between this symptom and the genetic cause of the disease (mutations that compromise the function of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, CFTR) is not fully understood. Studying animal models, Shah et al. find that in the absence of functional CFTR, the surface liquid in the airways becomes acidic, which impairs host defenses against infection. This acidification occurs through the action of a proton pump called ATP12A. Molecules inhibiting ATP12A could potentially be developed into useful drugs.

Science, this issue p. 503

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