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

Function of CFTR in healthy organs

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The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) plays a critical role in fluid and electrolyte transport across epithelial tissues throughout various organs in the body.1


Maintains fluid and ionic balance in sinonasal airway epithelia.2


Regulates volume of the airway surface liquid and mucus release, ensuring effective mucociliary transport.3

Sweat glands

Maintains low concentration of sweat electrolytes (sodium and chloride).4


Regulates the volume and pH of pancreatic secretions (e.g. neutralises gastric acid as the stomach contents enter the small intestine for digestion).5

Gastrointestinal tract

Maintains appropriate hydration and composition of intestinal secretions, thereby facilitating adequate nutrient absorption.6,7

Reproductive tract

Regulates fluid volume in the ducts of the vas deferens allowing normal development.8

  1. Bush A et al. Pediatr Pulmonol 2005;39:289–91
  2. Robertson JM et al. Respir Rev 2008;9:213–9
  3. Cohen TS et al. Nat Med 2012;18:509–19
  4. Quinton PM. Physiologica Sinica 2007;59:397–415
  5. De Lisle RC. J Clin Invest 2009;119:2535–7
  6. MacDonald KD et al. Drugs 2007;9:1–10
  7. Wilschanski M et al. Gut 2007;56:1153–63
  8. Yu J et al. Hum Reprod 2007;27:25–35