Pharmacological analysis of CFTR variants of cystic fibrosis using stem cell-derived organoids

Kevin G. Chen*, Pingyu Zhong, Wei Zheng, Jeffrey M. Beekman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-shortening genetic disease caused by mutations of CFTR, the gene encoding cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator. Despite considerable progress in CF therapies, targeting specific CFTR genotypes based on small molecules has been hindered because of the substantial genetic heterogeneity of CFTR mutations in patients with CF, which is difficult to assess by animal models in vivo. There are broadly four classes (e.g., II, III, and IV) of CF genotypes that differentially respond to current CF drugs (e.g., VX-770 and VX-809). In this review, we shed light on the pharmacogenomics of diverse CFTR mutations and the emerging role of stem cell-based organoids in predicting the CF drug response. We discuss mechanisms that underlie differential CF drug responses both in organoid-based assays and in CF clinical trials, thereby facilitating the precision design of safer and more effective therapies for individual patients with CF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2126-2138
Number of pages13
JournalDrug Discovery Today
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


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