Cystic-fibrosis-like disease unrelated to the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator
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- Mekus, F., Ballmann, M., Bronsveld, I. et al. Hum Genet (1998) 102: 582. doi:10.1007/s004390050744
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Cystic fibrosis (CF) is considered to be a monogenic disease caused by molecular lesions within the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene and is diagnosed by elevated sweat electrolytes. We have investigated the clinical manifestations of cystic fibrosis, CFTR genetics and electrophysiology in a sibpair in which the brother is being treated as having CF, whereas his sister is asymptomatic. The diagnosis of CF in the index patient is based on highly elevated sweat electrolytes in the presence of CF-related pulmonary symptoms. The investigation of chloride conductance in respiratory and intestinal tissue by nasal potential difference and intestinal current measurements, respectively, provides no evidence for CFTR dysfunction in the siblings who share the same CFTR alleles. No molecular lesion has been identified in the CFTR gene of the brother. Findings in the investigated sibpair point to the existence of a CF-like disease with a positive sweat test without CFTR being affected. Other factors influencing sodium or chloride transport are likely to be the cause of the symptoms in the patient described.