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Cancer Cell death Cell cycle Cytoskeleton Exo/endocytosis Differentiation Division Organelles Signalling Stem cells Trafficking
Cell Biology International (2010) 34, 147–152 (Printed in Great Britain)
Expression and localization of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator in human gingiva
Louis C Ajonuma1, Qian Lu, Becky PK Cheung, W. Keung Leung, Lakshman P Samaranayake and Lijian Jin1
Faculty of Dentistry, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, People's Republic of China


CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator) is a cAMP-activated chloride channel that regulates electrolyte and water transport. The present study investigated the expression and localization of CFTR in human gingiva and explored the possible association of CFTR with periodontal conditions. CFTR expression in gingival biopsies from five periodontally healthy subjects and ten subjects with chronic periodontitis and in the RHGE (reconstituted human gingival epithelia) was detected by immunohistochemistry, whereas its expression in gingival biopsies was analysed by immunofluorescence staining. CFTR mRNA was analysed by reverse transcription-PCR. CFTR mRNA was detected in human gingival epithelia and RHGE. CFTR protein was detected in gingival biopsies from both healthy subjects and individuals with periodontitis and in RHGE. In healthy subjects, CFTR expression was mainly confined to the granular and spinous layers of epithelia and localized on the cell membrane. In patients with periodontitis, CFTR was detected in all layers of epithelia and the underlying connective tissues. The mean CFTR expression levels in periodontitis patients were significantly higher than those in healthy subjects. The present study for the first time showed the expression and localization of CFTR in human gingival epithelia. Elevated CFTR expression in periodontitis subjects implies the possible involvement of CFTR in periodontal disease pathogenesis. Further study is warranted to confirm the present findings.


Key words: CFTR, gene expression, gingival epithelium, periodontal disease

Abbreviations: AL, attachment loss, BOP, bleeding on probing, CF, cystic fibrosis, CFTR, cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, DAB, 3-3-diaminobenzidine, ENaC, epithelial sodium channel, GADPH, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, GCF, gingival crevicular fluid, ORCC, outwardly rectifying chloride channel, PD, probing depth, RHGE, reconstituted human gingival epithelia, ROMK2, inwardly rectifying potassium channel

1Correspondence may be addressed to either of these authors (email Lcajonuma@graduate.hku.hk or ljjin@hkucc.hku.hk).


Received 12 May 2009/16 July 2009; accepted 4 September 2009

Published as Cell Biology International Immediate Publication 4 September 2009, doi:10.1042/CBI20090019


© 2010 The Author(s) Journal compilation. © 2010 Portland Press Ltd


ISSN Print: 1065-6995
ISSN Electronic: 1095-8355
Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the International Federation for Cell Biology (IFCB)