GFP-tagged CFTR transgene is functional in the G551D cystic fibrosis mouse colon

D. Oceandy, B. McMorran, R. Schreiber, B. J. Wainwright, K. Kunzelmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Trafficking of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is central to its function, with the most common mutation, ΔF508, resulting in abnormal processing and trafficking. Therefore, there is a significant need to develop tools, which enable the trafficking of CFTR to be studied in vitro and in vivo. In previous studies it has been demonstrated that fusion of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) to the N-terminus of CFTR does lead to functional expression of CFTR chloride channels in epithelial cell lines. The aim of the present study was to examine whether it is possible to express GFP-tagged CFTR as a transgene in colonic and airway epithelial cells of cystic fibrosis (CF) mice and to correct the CF defect. Using the epithelial-specific human cytokeratin promoter K18, we generated bitransgenic mice cftrG551D/G551D K18-GFP-CFTR+/-, designated GFP mice. Transcripts for GFP-CFTR could be detected in bitransgenic mice by use of RT-PCR techniques. Expression of GFP-CFTR protein was detected specifically in the colonic epithelium by both direct GFP fluorescence and the use of an anti-GFP antibody. Ussing chamber studies showed that the ion transport defect in colon and airways observed in cftrG551D/G551D mice was partially corrected in the bitransgenic animals. Thus, K18-GFP-CFTR is functionally expressed in transgenic mice, which will be a valuable tool in studies on CFTR synthesis, processing and ion transport in native epithelial tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-167
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Membrane Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2003


  • Airways
  • Bitransgenic mouse
  • Colon
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Epithelial transport


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