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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 Jun;86(12):4785-8.

Activation of the beta 2-adrenergic receptor promotes growth and differentiation in thyroid cells.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032.


We have introduced the beta 2-adrenergic receptor into the unnatural environment of a thyroid cell to demonstrate that the activation of this receptor initiates diverse cellular programs in different cell types. The thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) receptor and the beta 2-adrenergic receptor stimulate a common signaling pathway in distinct populations of cells. In this study, we demonstrate that the activation of the beta 2-adrenergic receptor, transfected into a thyroid epithelial cell, elicits a program of growth and differentiation normally observed with TSH. In thyroid cells expressing beta 2 receptors, the beta 2 agonist isoproterenol activates adenylate cyclase, induces the expression of a thyroid-specific iodide carrier system, and can substitute for TSH to promote growth. Thus, in thyroid cells expressing beta 2-adrenergic receptors, isoproterenol elicits the entire array of thyroid-specific functions normally activated by TSH.

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