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About CF » Genetics and cell biology of CFTR » Function of CFTR throughout the body

Function of CFTR throughout the body

CFTR channels are found in the apical membrane of epithelial cells throughout the body, where they play a critical role in fluid and electrolyte transport.1  The channels open and close, in a dynamic process called ‘gating’, to transport chloride (Cl) and bicarbonate (HCO3) ions out of epithelial cells.2 The flow of Cl ions has a significant impact on the ionic balance and hydration of secretions in organs including the lung, liver, pancreas, digestive tract, reproductive tract and skin.1

Function of CFTR in healthy organs

See an overview of normal CFTR channel function in various organs throughout the body.

1. Bush A et al. Pediatr Pulmonol 2005;39:289–91
2. MacDonald KD et al. Paediatr Drugs 2007;9:1–10