: Several reports have indicated that SARS-CoV-2 infection displays unexpected mild clinical manifestations in people with cystic fibrosis (pwCF), suggesting that CFTR expression and function may be involved in the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle. To evaluate the possible association of CFTR activity with SARS-CoV-2 replication, we tested the antiviral activity of two well-known CFTR inhibitors (IOWH-032 and PPQ-102) in wild type (WT)-CFTR bronchial cells. SARS-CoV-2 replication was inhibited by IOWH-032 treatment, with an IC50 of 4.52 μM, and by PPQ-102, with an IC50 of 15.92 μM. We confirmed this antiviral effect on primary cells (MucilAirTM wt-CFTR) using 10 μM IOWH-032. According to our results, CFTR inhibition can effectively tackle SARS-CoV-2 infection, suggesting that CFTR expression and function might play an important role in SARS-CoV-2 replication, revealing new perspectives on the mechanisms governing SARS-CoV-2 infection in both normal and CF individuals, as well as leading to potential novel treatments.
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