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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 May 27;94(11):5568-73.

Characterization of the thyroid Na+/I- symporter with an anti-COOH terminus antibody.

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Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.


The Na+/I- symporter (NIS) is the plasma membrane protein that catalyzes active I- transport in the thyroid, the first step in thyroid hormone biogenesis. The cDNA encoding NIS was recently cloned in our laboratory and a secondary structure model proposed, suggesting that NIS is an intrinsic membrane protein (618 amino acids; approximately 65.2 kDa predicted molecular mass) with 12 putative transmembrane domains. Here we report the generation of a site-directed polyclonal anti-COOH terminus NIS antibody (Ab) that immunoreacts with a approximately 87 kDa-polypeptide present in membrane fractions from a rat thyroid cell line (FRTL-5). The model-predicted cytosolic-side location of the COOH terminus was confirmed by indirect immunofluorescence experiments using anti-COOH terminus NIS Ab in permeabilized FRTL-5 cells. Immunoreactivity was competitively blocked by the presence of excess synthetic peptide. Treatment of membrane fractions from FRTL-5 cells, Xenopus laevis oocytes, and COS cells expressing NIS with peptidyl N-glycanase F converted the approximately 87 kDa-polypeptide into a approximately 50 kDa-species, the same relative molecular weight exhibited by NIS expressed in E. coli. Anti-NIS Ab immunoprecipitated both the NIS precursor molecule (approximately 56 kDa) and the mature approximately 87 kDa form. Furthermore, a direct correlation between circulating levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone and NIS expression in vivo was demonstrated.

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