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Mol Endocrinol. 2011 Jan;25(1):1-14. doi: 10.1210/me.2010-0095. Epub 2010 Jul 21.

Minireview: thyroid hormone transporters: the knowns and the unknowns.

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Erasmus University Medical Center, Molewaterplein 50, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


The effects of thyroid hormone (TH) on development and metabolism are exerted at the cellular level. Metabolism and action of TH take place intracellularly, which require transport of the hormone across the plasma membrane. This process is mediated by TH transporter proteins. Many TH transporters have been identified at the molecular level, although a few are classified as specific TH transporters, including monocarboxylate transporter (MCT)8, MCT10, and organic anion-transporting polypeptide 1C1. The importance of TH transporters for physiology has been illustrated dramatically by the causative role of MCT8 mutations in males with psychomotor retardation and abnormal serum TH concentrations. Although Mct8 knockout animals have provided insight in the mechanisms underlying parts of the endocrine phenotype, they lack obvious neurological abnormalities. Thus, the pathogenesis of the neurological abnormalities in males with MCT8 mutations is not fully understood. The prospects of identifying other transporters and transporter-based syndromes promise an exciting future in the TH transporter field.

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