Ivacaftor-Mediated Potentiation of ABCB4 Missense Mutations Affecting Critical Motifs of the NBDs: Repositioning Perspectives for Hepatobiliary Diseases (Équipe Gautheron/Housset)

January 08 - 2023

Jean-Louis Delaunay, Ahmad Elbahnsi, Alix Bruneau, Claire Madry, Anne-Marie Durand-Schneider, Anne Stary, Chantal Housset, Jérémie Gautheron, Isabelle Callebaut, Tounsia Ait-Slimane

Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Jan 8;24(2):1236

ABCB4 (ATP-binding cassette subfamily B member 4) is a hepatocanalicular floppase involved in biliary phosphatidylcholine (PC) secretion. Variations in the ABCB4 gene give rise to several biliary diseases, including progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis type 3 (PFIC3), an autosomal recessive disease that can be lethal in the absence of liver transplantation. In this study, we investigated the effect and potential rescue of ten ABCB4 missense variations in NBD1:NBD2 homologous positions (Y403H/Y1043H, K435M/K1075M, E558K/E1200A, D564G/D1206G and H589Y/H1231Y) all localized at the conserved and functionally critical motifs of ABC transporters, six of which are mutated in patients. By combining structure analysis and in vitro studies, we found that all ten mutants were normally processed and localized at the canalicular membrane of HepG2 cells, but showed dramatically impaired PC transport activity that was significantly rescued by treatment with the clinically approved CFTR potentiator ivacaftor. Our results provide evidence that functional ABCB4 mutations are rescued by ivacaftor, paving the way for the repositioning of this potentiator for the treatment of selected patients with PFIC3 caused by mutations in the ATP-binding sites of ABCB4.

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