Most cases of cystic fibrosis (CF) are caused by class 2 mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR). These proteins preserve some channel function but are retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Partial rescue of the most common CFTR class 2 mutant, F508del-CFTR, has been achieved through the development of pharmacological chaperones (Tezacaftor and Elexacaftor) that bind CFTR directly. However, it is not clear whether these drugs will rescue all class 2 CFTR mutants to a medically relevant level. We have previously shown that the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) ibuprofen can correct F508del-CFTR trafficking. Here, we utilized RNAi and pharmacological inhibitors to determine the mechanism of action of the NSAID glafenine. Using cellular thermal stability assays (CETSAs), we show that it is a proteostasis modulator. Using medicinal chemistry, we identified a derivative with a fourfold increase in CFTR corrector potency. Furthermore, we show that these novel arachidonic acid pathway inhibitors can rescue difficult-to-correct class 2 mutants, such as G85E-CFTR > 13%, that of non-CF cells in well-differentiated HBE cells. Thus, the results suggest that targeting the arachidonic acid pathway may be a profitable way of developing correctors of certain previously hard-to-correct class 2 CFTR mutations.
© 2022. The Author(s).