Club cell secretory protein and lung function in children with cystic fibrosis

Jing Zhai, Mary J. Emond, Amber Spangenberg, Debra A. Stern, Monica M. Vasquez, Elizabeth E. Blue, Kati J. Buckingham, Duane L. Sherrill, Marilyn Halonen, Ronald L. Gibson, Margaret Rosenfeld, Scott D. Sagel, Michael J. Bamshad, Wayne J. Morgan, Stefano Guerra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Club cell secretory protein (CC16) exerts anti-inflammatory functions in lung disease. We sought to determine the relation of serum CC16 deficits and genetic variants that control serum CC16 to lung function among children with cystic fibrosis (CF). Methods: We used longitudinal data from CF children (EPIC Study) with no positive cultures for Pseudomonas aeruginosa prior to enrollment. Circulating levels of CC16 and an inflammatory score (generated from CRP, SAA, calprotectin, G-CSF) were compared between participants with the lowest and highest FEV1 levels in adolescence (LLF and HLF groups, respectively; N = 130-per-group). Single nucleotide variants (SNVs) in the SCGB1A1, EHF-APIP loci were tested for association with circulating CC16 and with decline of FEV1 and FEV1/FVC% predicted levels between ages 7–16 using mixed models. Results: Compared with the HLF group, the LLF group had lower levels of CC16 (geometric means: 8.2 vs 6.5 ng/ml, respectively; p = 0.0002) and higher levels of the normalized inflammatory score (-0.21 vs 0.21, p = 0.0007). Participants in the lowest CC16 and highest inflammation tertile had the highest odds for having LLF (p<0.0001 for comparison with participants in the highest CC16 and lowest inflammation tertile). Among seven SNVs associated with circulating CC16, the top SNV rs3741240 was associated with decline of FEV1/FVC and, marginally, FEV1 (p = 0.003 and 0.025, respectively; N = 611 participants, 20,801 lung function observations). Conclusions: Serum CC16 deficits are strongly associated with severity of CF lung disease and their effects are additive with systemic inflammation. The rs3741240 A allele is associated with low circulating CC16 and, possibly, accelerated lung function decline in CF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-820
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cystic Fibrosis
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Club cell secretory protein
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Lung function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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