Misfolded proteins destined for the cell surface are recognized and degraded by the ERAD [ER (endoplasmic reticulum) associated degradation] pathway. TS (temperature-sensitive) mutants at the permissive temperature escape ERAD and reach the cell surface. In this present paper, we examined a TS mutant of the CFTR [CF (cystic fibrosis) transmembrane conductance regulator], CFTR DeltaF508, and analysed its cell-surface trafficking after rescue [rDeltaF508 (rescued DeltaF508) CFTR]. We show that rDeltaF508 CFTR endocytosis is 6-fold more rapid (approximately 30% per 2.5 min) than WT (wild-type, approximately 5% per 2.5 min) CFTR at 37 degrees C in polarized airway epithelial cells (CFBE41o-). We also investigated rDeltaF508 CFTR endocytosis under two further conditions: in culture at the permissive temperature (27 degrees C) and following treatment with pharmacological chaperones. At low temperature, rDeltaF508 CFTR endocytosis slowed to WT rates (20% per 10 min), indicating that the cell-surface trafficking defect of rDeltaF508 CFTR is TS. Furthermore, rDeltaF508 CFTR is stabilized at the lower temperature; its half-life increases from <2 h at 37 degrees C to >8 h at 27 degrees C. Pharmacological chaperone treatment at 37 degrees C corrected the rDeltaF508 CFTR internalization defect, slowing endocytosis from approximately 30% per 2.5 min to approximately 5% per 2.5 min, and doubled DeltaF508 surface half-life from 2 to 4 h. These effects are DeltaF508 CFTR-specific, as pharmacological chaperones did not affect WT CFTR or transferrin receptor internalization rates. The results indicate that small molecular correctors may reproduce the effect of incubation at the permissive temperature, not only by rescuing DeltaF508 CFTR from ERAD, but also by enhancing its cell-surface stability.