Bacalhau M, Ferreira FC, Kmit A, Souza FR, da Silva VD, Pimentel AS, Amaral MD, Buarque CD, Lopes-Pacheco M.
The most prevalent cystic fibrosis (CF)-causing mutation – F508del – impairs the folding of CFTR protein, resulting in its defective trafficking and premature degradation. Small molecules termed correctors may rescue F508del-CFTR and therefore constitute promising pharmacotherapies acting on the fundamental cause of the disease. Here, we screened a collection of triazole compounds to identify novel F508del-CFTR correctors. The functional primary screen identified four hit compounds (LSO-18, LSO-24, LSO-28, and LSO-39), which were further validated and demonstrated to rescue F508del-CFTR processing, plasma membrane trafficking, and function. To interrogate their mechanism of action (MoA), we examined their additivity to the clinically approved drugs VX-661 and VX-445, low temperature, and genetic revertants of F508del-CFTR. Rescue of F508del-CFTR processing and function by LSO-18, LSO-24, and LSO-28, but not by LSO-39, was additive to VX-661, whereas LSO-28 and LSO-39, but not LSO-18 nor LSO-24, were additive to VX-445. All compounds under investigation demonstrated additive rescue of F508del-CFTR processing and function to low temperature as well as to rescue by genetic revertants G550E and 4RK. Nevertheless, none of these compounds was able to rescue processing nor function of DD/AA-CFTR, and LSO-39 (similarly to VX-661) exhibited no additivity to genetic revertant R1070W. From these findings, we suggest that LSO-39 (like VX-661) has a putative binding site at the NBD1:ICL4 interface, LSO-18 and LSO-24 seem to share the MoA with VX-445, and LSO-28 appears to act by a different MoA. Altogether, these findings represent an encouraging starting point to further exploit this chemical series for the development of novel CFTR correctors.