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Endocrinology. 1997 Jun;138(6):2227-32.

Regulation by thyroid-stimulating hormone of sodium/iodide symporter gene expression and protein levels in FRTL-5 cells.

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Third Department of Internal Medicine, Yamanashi Medical University, Tamaho, Japan.


To investigate the mechanism of I- transport stimulation by TSH, we studied the effects of TSH on Na+/I- symporter (NIS) messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels in FRTL-5 cells and correlated these with I- transport activity. When 1 mU/ml TSH was added to quiescent FRTL-5 cells, a 12-h latency was observed before the onset of increased I- transport activity, which reached a maximum [approximately 27 times basal (5H medium) levels] at 72 h. In contrast, Northern blot analysis, using rat NIS complementary DNA as a probe, revealed that addition of TSH to these cells significantly increased NIS mRNA at 3-6 h, reaching a maximum after 24 h (approximately 5.9 times basal levels). Forskolin and (Bu)2cAMP mimicked this stimulatory effect on both the I- transport activity and mRNA levels. D-ribofranosylbenzimidazole, a transcription inhibitor, almost completely blocked TSH-induced stimulation of I- transport and NIS mRNA levels. Western blot analysis demonstrated that TSH increased NIS protein levels at 36 h, reaching a maximum at 72 h, in parallel with the kinetics of TSH-induced I- transport activity. However, it also showed that the amount of NIS protein already present in FRTL-5 cell membranes before the addition of TSH was about one third of the maximum level induced by TSH. These results indicate that stimulation of I- transport activity by TSH in thyrocytes is partly due to a rapid increase in NIS gene expression, followed by a relatively slow NIS protein synthesis. However, the existence of an abundant amount of protein in quiescent FRTL-5 cells with very low I- transport activity also suggests that this activity is controlled by another TSH-regulated factor(s).

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