Association studies suggest that thyroid hormone receptor β (TRβ) could function as a tumor suppressor in breast cancer development, but unequivocal evidence is still lacking. To understand the role of TRβ in breast tumor development, we adopted the gain-of-function approach by stably expressing the THRB gene in a human breast cancer cell line, MCF-7 (MCF-7-TRβ). Parental MCF-7 cells express the estrogen receptor, but not TRs. MCF-7 cells, stably expressing only the selectable marker, the Neo gene, were also generated as control for comparison (MCF-7-Neo cells). Cell-based studies indicate that the estrogen (E2)-dependent growth of MCF-7 cells was inhibited by the expression of TRβ in the presence of the thyroid hormone (T3). In a xenograft mouse model, large tumors rapidly developed after inoculation of MCF-7-Neo cells in athymic mice. In contrast, markedly smaller tumors (98% smaller) were found when MCF-7-TRβ cells were inoculated in athymic mice, indicating that TRβ inhibited the E2-dependent tumor growth of MCF-7 cells. Further detailed molecular analysis showed that TRβ acted to activate apoptosis and decrease proliferation of tumor cells, resulting in inhibition of tumor growth. The TRβ-mediated inhibition of tumor growth was elucidated via down-regulation of the JAK-STAT-cyclin D pathways. This in vivo evidence shows that TRβ could act as a tumor suppressor in breast tumorigenesis. The present study provides new insights into the role of TR in breast cancer.
Thyroid hormone receptor beta; tumor suppressor; tumorigenesis; STAT signaling; MCF-7 cells
The thyroid hormone, T3, plays important roles in metabolism, growth, and differentiation. Germline mutations in thyroid hormone receptor beta (TRβ) have been identified in many individuals with resistance to thyroid hormone, a syndrome of reduced sensitivity to T3. A close association of somatic mutations of TRβ with several human cancers has become increasingly apparent, but how TRβ mutants could be involved in the carcinogenesis in vivo has not been addressed. The creation of a mouse model (TRβPV/PV mouse) that harbors a knockin mutation of TRβ (denoted TRβPV) has facilitated the study of the molecular actions of TRβ mutants in vivo. The striking phenotype of thyroid cancer and the development of pituitary tumors exhibited by TRβPV/PV mice have uncovered novel functions of a TRβ mutant in tumorigenesis. It led to the important findings that the oncogenic action of TRβPV is mediated by both genomic and non-genomic actions to alter gene expression and signaling pathways activity.
thyroid hormone receptor mutants; thyroid cancer; pituitary tumor; non-genomic action; TRβPV; phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; pituitary tumor transforming gene; β-catenin
We previously created a knock-in mutant mouse harboring a dominantly negative mutant thyroid hormone receptor β (TRβPV/PV mouse) that spontaneously develops a follicular thyroid carcinoma similar to human thyroid cancer. We found that β-catenin, which plays a critical role in oncogenesis, was highly elevated in thyroid tumors of TRβPV/PV mice. We sought to understand the molecular basis underlying aberrant accumulation of β-catenin by mutations of TRβ in vivo. Cell-based studies showed that thyroid hormone (T3) induced the degradation of β-catenin in cells expressing TRβ via proteasomal pathways. In contrast, no T3-induced degradation occurred in cells expressing the mutant receptor (TRβPV). In vitro binding studies and cell-based analyses revealed that β-catenin physically associated with unliganded TRβ or TRβPV. However, in the presence of T3, β-catenin was dissociated from TRβ-β-catenin complexes but not from TRβPV-β-catenin complexes. β-Catenin signaling was repressed by T3 in TRβ-expressing cells through decreasing β-catenin-mediated transcription activity and target gene expression, whereas sustained β-catenin signaling was observed in TRβPV-expressing cells. The stabilization of β-catenin, via association with a mutated TRβ, represents a novel activating mechanism of the oncogenic protein β-catenin that could contribute to thyroid carcinogenesis in TRβPV/PV mice.
Overexpression of pituitary tumor–transforming 1 (PTTG1) is associated with thyroid cancer. We found elevated PTTG1 levels in the thyroid tumors of a mouse model of follicular thyroid carcinoma (TRβPV/PV mice). Here we examined the molecular mechanisms underlying elevated PTTG1 levels and the contribution of increased PTTG1 to thyroid carcinogenesis. We showed that PTTG1 was physically associated with thyroid hormone β receptor (TRβ) as well as its mutant, designated PV. Concomitant with thyroid hormone–induced (T3-induced) degradation of TRβ, PTTG1 proteins were degraded by the proteasomal machinery, but no such degradation occurred when PTTG1 was associated with PV. The degradation of PTTG1/TRβ was activated by the direct interaction of the liganded TRβ with steroid receptor coactivator 3 (SRC-3), which recruits proteasome activator PA28γ. PV, which does not bind T3, could not interact directly with SRC-3/PA28γ to activate proteasome degradation, resulting in elevated PTTG1 levels. The accumulated PTTG1 impeded mitotic progression in cells expressing PV. Our results unveil what we believe to be a novel mechanism by which PTTG1, an oncogene, is regulated by the liganded TRβ. The loss of this regulatory function in PV led to an aberrant accumulation of PTTG1 disrupting mitotic progression that could contribute to thyroid carcinogenesis.
The thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) are transcription factors that mediate the pleiotropic activities of the thyroid hormone, T3. Four T3-binding isoforms, TRα1, TRβ1, TRβ2, and TRβ3, are encoded by two genes, THRA and THRB. Mutations and altered expression of TRs have been reported in human cancers. A targeted germline mutation of the Thrβ gene in the mouse leads to spontaneous development of follicular thyroid carcinoma (TRβPV/PV mouse). The TRβPV mutant has lost T3 binding activity and displays potent dominant negative activity. The striking phenotype of thyroid cancer exhibited by TRβPV/PV mice has recently led to the discovery of novel non-genomic actions of TRβPV that contribute to thyroid carcinogenesis. These actions involve direct physical interaction of TRβPV with cellular proteins, namely the regulatory subunit of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (p85α), the pituitary tumor-transforming gene (PTTG) and β-catenin, that are critically involved in cell proliferation, motility, migration, and metastasis. Thus, a TRβ mutant (TRβPV), via a novel mode of non-genomic action, acts as an oncogene in thyroid carcinogenesis.
thyroid hormone receptor mutants; thyroid cancer; non-genomic action; phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase; pituitary tumor transforming gene; β-catenin; mouse model
To understand the roles of thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) in adipogenesis, we adopted a loss-of-function approach. We generated 3T3-L1 cells stably expressing either TRα1 mutant (TRα1PV) or TRβ1 mutant (TRβ1PV). TRα1PV and TRβ1PV are dominant negative mutations with a frameshift in the C-terminal amino acids. In control cells, the thyroid hormone, tri-iodothyronine (T3), induced a 2·5-fold increase in adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 cells, as demonstrated by increased lipid droplets. This increase was mediated by T3-induced expression of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα), which are master regulators of adipogenesis at both the mRNA and protein levels. In 3T3-L1 cells stably expressing TRα1PV (L1-α1PV cells) or TRβ1PV (L1-β1PV cells), adipogenesis was reduced 94 or 54% respectively, indicative of differential inhibitory activity of mutant TR isoforms. Concordantly, the expression of PPARγ and C/EBPα at the mRNA and protein levels was more repressed in L1-α1PV cells than in L1-β1PV cells. In addition, the expression of PPARγ downstream target genes involved in fatty acid synthesis – the lipoprotein lipase (Lpl) and aP2 involved in adipogenesis – was more inhibited by TRα1PV than by TRβ1PV. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed that TRα1PV was more avidly recruited than TRβ1PV to the promoter to preferentially block the expression of the C/ebpα gene. Taken together, these data indicate that impaired adipogenesis by mutant TR is isoform dependent. The finding that induction of adipogenesis is differentially regulated by TR isoforms suggests that TR isoform-specific ligands could be designed for therapeutic intervention for lipid abnormalities.
Reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) is a complex process which transfers cholesterol from peripheral cells to the liver for subsequent elimination from the body via feces. Thyroid hormones (THs) affect growth, development, and metabolism in almost all tissues. THs exert their actions by binding to thyroid hormone receptors (TRs). There are two major subtypes of TRs, TRα and TRβ, and several isoforms (e.g. TRα1, TRα2, TRβ1, and TRβ2). Activation of TRα1 affects heart rate, whereas activation of TRβ1 has positive effects on lipid and lipoprotein metabolism. Consequently, particular interest has been focused on the development of thyromimetic compounds targeting TRβ1, not only because of their ability to lower plasma cholesterol but also due their ability to stimulate RCT, at least in pre-clinical models. In this review we focus on THs, TRs, and on the effects of TRβ1-modulating thyromimetics on RCT in various animal models and in humans.
Cardiovascular disease; Cholesterol; Lipoprotein metabolism; Reverse cholesterol transport; Thyroid hormones; Thyroid hormone receptors
Akt activation is common in progressive thyroid cancer. In breast cancer, Akt1 induced primary cancer growth, but is reported to inhibit metastasis in vivo in several model systems. In contrast, clinical and in vitro studies suggest a metastasis-promoting role for Akt1 in thyroid cancer. The goal of this study was to determine the functional role of Akt1 in thyroid cancer growth and metastatic progression in vivo using thyroid hormone receptor βPV/PV knock-in (PV) mice which develop metastatic thyroid cancer. We crossed Akt1-/- and PV mice and compared tumor development, local progression, metastasis, and histology in TRβPV/PV/Akt1+/+ (PVPV-Akt1WT) and TRβPV/PV/Akt1-/- (PVPV-Akt1KO) mice. Mice were sacrificed at 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 months; necropsy was performed and serum TSH was measured. Thyroid hyperplasia occurred in both groups beginning at three months; the thyroid size was greater in the PVPV-Akt1WT mice (p<0.001). In comparison with PVPV-Akt1WT mice, thyroid cancer development was delayed in the PVPV-Akt1KO mice (P=0.003) and the degree of tumor invasion was reduced. The PVPV-Akt1WT mice displayed pulmonary metastases at 12 and 15 months of age, by contrast PVPV-Akt1KO mice did not develop distant metastases at 15 months of age. Despite continued expression of Akt2 or Akt3, pAkt levels were decreased, and there was evidence of reduced Akt effect on p27 in the PVPV-Akt1KO thyroids. TSH levels were similarly elevated in PV mice regardless of Akt1 expression. In conclusion, thyroid cancer development and progression in TRβPV/PV mice are Akt1-dependent, consistent with a tumor progression-promoting role in this murine thyroid cancer model.
PI3 Kinase; Thyroid Hormone Receptor Beta; Thyrotropin; p27; gelsolin
Thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) modulate various physiological functions in many organ systems. The TRα and TRβ isoforms are products of 2 distinct genes, and the β1 and β2 isoforms are splice variants of the same gene. Whereas TRα1 and TRβ1 are widely expressed, expression of the TRβ2 isoform is mainly limited to the pituitary, triiodothyronine-responsive TRH neurons, the developing inner ear, and the retina. Mice with targeted disruption of the entire TRβ locus (TRβ-null) exhibit elevated thyroid hormone levels as a result of abnormal central regulation of thyrotropin, and also develop profound hearing loss. To clarify the contribution of the TRβ2 isoform to the function of the endocrine and auditory systems in vivo, we have generated mice with targeted disruption of the TRβ2 isoform. TRβ2-null mice have preserved expression of the TRα and TRβ1 isoforms. They develop a similar degree of central resistance to thyroid hormone as TRβ-null mice, indicating the important role of TRβ2 in the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. Growth hormone gene expression is marginally reduced. In contrast, TRβ2-null mice exhibit no evidence of hearing impairment, indicating that TRβ1 and TRβ2 subserve divergent roles in the regulation of auditory function.
Thyroid hormone (T3) is critical in growth, development, differentiation, and maintenance of metabolic homeostasis. Recent studies suggest that thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) not only mediate the biological activities of T3 via nucleus-initiated transcription, but also could act via nongenomic pathways. The striking phenotype of thyroid cancer exhibited by a knockin mutant mouse that harbors a dominant negative TRβ mutant (TRβPV/PV mouse) allows the elucidation of novel oncogenic activity of a TRβ mutant (PV) via extra-nuclear actions. PV physically interacts with the regulatory p85α subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) to activate the downstream AKT-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and p70S6K and PI3K-integrin-linked kinase-matrix metalloproteinase-2 signaling pathways. The PV-mediated PI3K activation results in increased cell proliferation, motility, migration, and metastasis. Remarkably, a nuclear receptor corepressor (NCoR) was found to regulate the PV-activated PI3K signaling by competing with PV for binding to the C-terminal SH2 domain of p85α. Overexpression of NCoR in thyroid tumor cells of TRβPV/PV mice reduces AKT-mTOR- p70S6K signaling. Conversely, lowering cellular NCoR by siRNA knockdown in tumor cells leads to over-activated PI3K-AKT signaling to increase cell proliferation and motility. Furthermore, NCoR protein levels are significantly lower in thyroid tumor cells than in wild type thyrocytes, allowing more effective binding of PV to p85α to activate PI3K signaling, thereby contributing to tumor progression. Thus, PV, an apo-TRβ, could act via direct protein-protein interaction to mediate critical oncogenic actions. These studies also uncovered a novel extra-nuclear role of NCoR in modulating the nongenomic actions of a mutated TRβ in controlling thyroid carcinogenesis.
thyroid hormone receptors; phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; pituitary tumor transforming gene; steroid hormone receptor coactivator-3; nongenomic actions; thyroid hormone receptor mutants; mouse model; thyroid cancer; carcinogenesis
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)-secreting tumors (TSH-omas) are pituitary tumors that constitutively secrete TSH. The molecular genetics underlying this abnormality are not known. We discovered that a knockin mouse harboring a mutated thyroid hormone receptor (TR) β (PV; TRβPV/PV mouse) spontaneously developed TSH-omas. TRβPV/PV mice lost the negative feedback regulation with highly elevated TSH levels associated with increased thyroid hormone levels (3,3′,5-triiodo-l-thyronine [T3]). Remarkably, we found that mice deficient in all TRs (TRα1−/− TRβ−/−) had similarly increased T3 and TSH levels, but no discernible TSH-omas, indicating that the dysregulation of the pituitary-thyroid axis alone is not sufficient to induce TSH-omas. Comparison of gene expression profiles by cDNA microarrays identified overexpression of cyclin D1 mRNA in TRβPV/PV but not in TRα1−/− TRβ−/− mice. Overexpression of cyclin D1 protein led to activation of the cyclin D1/cyclin-dependent kinase/retinoblastoma protein/E2F pathway only in TRβPV/PV mice. The liganded TRβ repressed cyclin D1 expression via tethering to the cyclin D1 promoter through binding to the cyclic AMP response element-binding protein. That repression effect was lost in mutant PV, thereby resulting in constitutive activation of cyclin D1 in TRβPV/PV mice. The present study revealed a novel molecular mechanism by which an unliganded TRβ mutant acts to contribute to pituitary tumorigenesis in vivo and provided mechanistic insights into the understanding of pathogenesis of TSH-omas in patients.
Gene-expression analysis in cerebellum, heart and white adipose tissue from a knock-in mouse that harbors a human mutation and faithfully reproduces human resistance to thyroid hormone, uncovered complex multiple signaling pathways that mediate the molecular actions of TRβ mutants in vivo.
Resistance to thyroid hormone (RTH) is caused by mutations of the thyroid hormone receptor β (TRβ) gene. To understand the transcriptional program underlying TRβ mutant-induced phenotypic expression of RTH, cDNA microarrays were used to profile the expression of 11,500 genes in a mouse model of human RTH.
We analyzed transcript levels in cerebellum, heart and white adipose tissue from a knock-in mouse (TRβPV/PV mouse) that harbors a human mutation (referred to as PV) and faithfully reproduces human RTH. Because TRβPV/PV mice have elevated thyroid hormone (T3), to define T3-responsive genes in the context of normal TRβ, we also analyzed T3 effects in hyperthyroid wild-type gender-matched littermates. Microarray analysis revealed 163 genes responsive to T3 treatment and 187 genes differentially expressed between TRβPV/PV mice and wild-type littermates. Both the magnitude and gene make-up of the transcriptional response varied widely across tissues and conditions. We identified genes modulated in T3-dependent PV-independent, T3- and PV-dependent, and T3-independent PV-dependent pathways that illuminated the biological consequences of PV action in vivo. Most T3-responsive genes that were dysregulated in the heart and white adipose tissue of TRβPV/PV mice were repressed in T3-treated wild-type mice and upregulated in TRβPV/PV mice, suggesting the inappropriate activation of T3-suppressed genes in RTH.
Comprehensive multi-tissue gene-expression analysis uncovered complex multiple signaling pathways that mediate the molecular actions of TRβ mutants in vivo. In particular, the T3-independent mutant-dependent genomic response unveiled the contribution of a novel 'change-of-function' of TRβ mutants to the pathogenesis of RTH. Thus, the molecular actions of TRβ mutants are more complex than previously envisioned.
Study of molecular actions of thyroid hormone receptor β (TRβ) mutants in vivo has been facilitated by creation of a mouse model (TRβPV mouse) that harbors a knockin mutant of TRβ (denoted PV). PV, which was identified in a patient with resistance to thyroid hormone, has lost T3 binding activity and transcription capacity. The striking phenotype of thyroid cancer exhibited by TRβPV/PV mice has allowed the elucidation of novel oncogenic activity of a TRβ mutant (PV) [PAS1]beyond nucleus-initiated transcription. PV was found to physically interact with the regulatory p85α subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) in both the nuclear and cytoplasmic compartments. This protein-protein interaction activates the PI3K signaling by increasing phosphorylation of AKT, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and p70S6K. PV, via interaction with p85α, also activates the PI3K-integrin-linked kinase-matrix metalloproteinase-2 signaling pathway in the extra-nuclear compartment. The PV-mediated PI3K activation results in increased cell proliferation, motility, migration, and metastasis.
In addition to affecting these membrane-initiated signaling events, PV affects [PAS2]the stability of the pituitary tumor-transforming gene (PTTG) product. PTTG (also known as securin), a critical mitotic checkpoint protein, is physically associated with TRβ or PV in vivo. Concomitant with T3-induced degradation of TRβ, PTTG is degraded by the proteasome machinery, but no such degradation occurs when PTTG is associated with PV. The degradation of PTTG/TRβ is activated by the direct interaction of the T3-bound TRβ with the steroid receptor coactivator-3 (SRC-3) that recruits a proteasome activator (PA28γ). PV that does not bind T3 cannot interact directly with SRC-3/PA28γ to activate proteasome degradation, and the absence of degradation results in an aberrant accumulation of PTTG. The PV-induced failure of timely degradation of PTTG results in mitotic abnormalities. PV, via novel protein-protein interaction and transcription regulation, acts to antagonize the functions of wild-type TRs and contributes to the oncogenic functions of this mutation.
thyroid hormone receptors; phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; pituitary tumor transforming gene; steroid hormone receptor coactivator-3; nongenomic actions; thyroid hormone receptor mutants; mouse model; thyroid cancer; carcinogenesis
Chicken and zebrafish are two model species regularly used to study the role of thyroid hormones in vertebrate development. Similar to mammals, chickens have one thyroid hormone receptor α (TRα) and one TRβ gene, giving rise to three TR isoforms: TRα, TRβ2, and TRβ0, the latter with a very short amino-terminal domain. Zebrafish also have one TRβ gene, providing two TRβ1 variants. The zebrafish TRα gene has been duplicated, and at least three TRα isoforms are expressed: TRαA1-2 and TRαB are very similar, while TRαA1 has a longer carboxy-terminal ligand-binding domain. All these TR isoforms appear to be functional, ligand-binding receptors. As in other vertebrates, the different chicken and zebrafish TR isoforms have a divergent spatiotemporal expression pattern, suggesting that they also have distinct functions. Several isoforms are expressed from the very first stages of embryonic development and early chicken and zebrafish embryos respond to thyroid hormone treatment with changes in gene expression. Future studies in knockdown and mutant animals should allow us to link the different TR isoforms to specific processes in embryonic development.
The THRB gene encodes the well-described thyroid hormone (T3) receptor (TR) isoforms TRβ1 and TRβ2 and two additional variants, TRβ3 and TRΔβ3, of unknown physiological significance. TRβ1, TRβ2, and TRβ3 are bona fide T3 receptors that bind DNA and T3 and regulate expression of T3-responsive target genes. TRΔβ3 retains T3 binding activity but lacks a DNA binding domain and does not activate target gene transcription. TRΔβ3 can be translated from a specific TRΔβ3 mRNA or is coexpressed with TRβ3 from a single transcript that contains an internal TRΔβ3 translation start site. In these studies, we provide evidence that the TRβ3/Δβ3 locus is present in rat but not in other vertebrates, including humans. We compared the activity of TRβ3 with other TR isoforms and investigated mechanisms of action of TRΔβ3 at specific thyroid hormone response elements (TREs) in two cell types. TRβ3 was the most potent isoform, but TR potency was TRE dependent. TRΔβ3 acted as a cell-specific and TRE-dependent modulator of TRβ3 when coexpressed at low concentrations. At higher concentrations, TRΔβ3 was a TRE-selective and cell-specific antagonist of TRα1, -β1, and -β3. Both TRβ3 and TRΔβ3 were expressed in the nucleus in the absence and presence of hormone, and their actions were determined by cell type and TRE structure, whereas TRΔβ3 actions were also dependent on the TR isoform with which it interacted. Analysis of these complex responses implicates a range of nuclear corepressors and coactivators as cell-, TR isoform-, and TRE-specific modulators of T3 action.
Thyroid hormone receptor β2 (TRβ2) controls the patterning of cone opsin photopigments that mediate colour vision. We raised an antiserum against TRβ2 to study cone photoreceptor development by western blot and immunostaining analyses. TRβ2-positive cells first appeared between embryonic day 10 (E10) and E12. Numbers increased until near birth, correlating with generation of the cone population. At birth, signals decreased until postnatal day 10 (P10), then declined to very low levels in adulthood. TRβ2-positive cells were initially dispersed but became aligned at the edge of the outer neuroblastic layer by E15. Postnatally, these cells migrated inwardly until P10, then outwardly to the edge of the outer nuclear layer, the location of mature cones. TRβ2 represents a functionally unique marker for cone development.
thyroid hormone receptor β2; nuclear receptor; cone photoreceptor; colour visual system; retina
Background/Aims: Thyroid hormones (THs) regulate many developmental processes, including the developmental onset of cochlear differentiation and function. TH action is mediated mostly by triiodothyronine (T3) bound to thyroid hormone nuclear receptors (TRs). At positive regulated genes and in the absence of THs, nuclear co-repressors are bound to TRs and decrease basal transcription rate. Ligand (T3) binding results in the dissociation of co-repressors and the recruitment of co-activators to the complex, which results in full transcriptional activation. Methods: We measured cochlear function in two knock-in mouse models: TRβ E457A/E457A, with the TRβ co-activator binding surface (AF-2) disrupted to prevent co-activator binding; and TRβ Δ337T/Δ337T, which is unable to bind T3. Cochlear morphology and function were analyzed in 10-week-old normal and mutated mice. Cochlear function was determined by measuring auditory brainstem responses, cochlear tuning and compound action potential (CAP) thresholds. Results: All TRβ Δ337T/Δ337T and 85% of the TRβE457A/E457A mice presented elevated CAP thresholds (P < 0.05 or less). Five percent of the TRβE457A/E457A mice presented normal CAP thresholds with broadened cochlear tuning. TRβE457A/E457A and TRβ Δ337T/Δ337T presented developmental defects that led to a decreased width (P < 0.01) and an increased thickness (P<0.01) of the tectorial membrane. In addition, TRβ Δ337T/Δ337T animals showed an increased tectorial membrane area (P<0.01). Conclusion: Both mutations were deleterious to tectorial membrane development and led to important alterations in cochlear morphology and loss of cochlear function.
Thyroid hormone receptor; Hearing; Cochlea; knock-in mice
Thyroid hormone 3,5,3′-tri-iodothyronine (T3) binds and activates thyroid hormone receptors (TRs). Here, we present evidence for a nontranscriptional regulation of Ca2+ signaling by T3-bound TRs. Treatment of Xenopus thyroid hormone receptor beta subtype A1 (xTRβA1) expressing oocytes with T3 for 10 min increased inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3)-mediated Ca2+ wave periodicity. Coexpression of TRβA1 with retinoid X receptor did not enhance regulation. Deletion of the DNA binding domain and the nuclear localization signal of the TRβA1 eliminated transcriptional activity but did not affect the ability to regulate Ca2+ signaling. T3-bound TRβA1 regulation of Ca2+ signaling could be inhibited by ruthenium red treatment, suggesting that mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake was required for the mechanism of action. Both xTRβA1 and the homologous shortened form of rat TRα1 (rTRαΔF1) localized to the mitochondria and increased O2 consumption, whereas the full-length rat TRα1 did neither. Furthermore, only T3-bound xTRβA1 and rTRαΔF1 affected Ca2+ wave activity. We conclude that T3-bound mitochondrial targeted TRs acutely modulate IP3-mediated Ca2+ signaling by increasing mitochondrial metabolism independently of transcriptional activity.
Inactivation and silencing of PTEN have been observed in multiple cancers, including follicular thyroid carcinoma. PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted from chromosome 10) functions as a tumour suppressor by opposing the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT) signalling pathway. Despite correlative data, how deregulated PTEN signalling leads to thyroid carcinogenesis is not known. Mice harbouring a dominant-negative mutant thyroid hormone receptor β (TRβPV/PV mice) spontaneously develop follicular thyroid carcinoma and distant metastases similar to human cancer. To elucidate the role of PTEN in thyroid carcinogenesis, we generated TRβPV/PV mice haploinsufficient for Pten (TRβPV/PVPten+/− mouse). PTEN deficiency accelerated the progression of thyroid tumour and increased the occurrence of metastasis spread to the lung in TRβPV/PVPten+/− mice, thereby significantly reducing their survival as compared with TRβPV/PVPten+/+ mice. AKT activation was further increased by two-fold in TRβPV/PVPten+/− mice thyroids, leading to increased activity of the downstream mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)–p70S6K signalling and decreased activity of the forkhead family member FOXO3a. Consistently, cyclin D1 expression was increased. Apoptosis was decreased as indicated by increased expression of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and decreased caspase-3 activity in the thyroids of TRβPV/PVPten+/− mice. Our results indicate that PTEN deficiency resulted in increased cell proliferation and survival in the thyroids of TRβPV/PVPten+/− mice. Altogether, our study provides direct evidence to indicate that in vivo, PTEN is a critical regulator in the follicular thyroid cancer progression and invasiveness.
thyroid cancer; Pten; carcinogenesis; mouse model; mutations
Hydroxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (HO-PBDEs) may disrupt thyroid hormone status because of their structural similarity to thyroid hormone. However, the molecular mechanisms of interactions with thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) are not fully understood.
We investigated the interactions between HO-PBDEs and TRβ to identify critical structural features and physicochemical properties of HO-PBDEs related to their hormone activity, and to develop quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) models for the thyroid hormone activity of HO-PBDEs.
We used the recombinant two-hybrid yeast assay to determine the hormone activities to TRβ and molecular docking to model the ligand–receptor interaction in the binding site. Based on the mechanism of action, molecular structural descriptors were computed, selected, and employed to characterize the interactions, and finally a QSAR model was constructed. The applicability domain (AD) of the model was assessed by Williams plot.
The 18 HO-PBDEs tested exhibited significantly higher thyroid hormone activities than did PBDEs (p < 0.05). Hydrogen bonding was the characteristic interaction between HO-PBDE molecules and TRβ, and aromaticity had a negative effect on the thyroid hormone activity of HO-PBDEs. The developed QSAR model had good robustness, predictive ability, and mechanism interpretability.
Hydrogen bonding and electrostatic interactions between HO-PBDEs and TRβ are important factors governing thyroid hormone activities. The HO-PBDEs with higher ability to accept electrons tend to have weak hydrogen bonding with TRβ and lower thyroid hormone activities.
application domain; density functional theory; docking; HO-PBDEs; hydroxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers; PBDEs; quantitative structure-activity relationship; thyroid hormone receptor
Whereas there is increasing evidence that loss of expression and/or function of the thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) could result in a selective advantage for tumor development, the relationship between thyroid hormone levels and human cancer is a controversial issue. It has been reported that hypothyroidism might be a possible risk factor for liver and breast cancer in humans, but a lower incidence of breast carcinoma has been also reported in hypothyroid patients
In this work we have analyzed the influence of hypothyroidism on tumor progression and metastasis development using xenografts of parental and TRβ1–expressing human hepatocarcinoma (SK-hep1) and breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-468). In agreement with our previous observations tumor invasiveness and metastasis formation was strongly repressed when TRβ–expressing cells were injected into euthyroid nude mice. Whereas tumor growth was retarded when cells were inoculated into hypothyroid hosts, tumors had a more mesenchymal phenotype, were more invasive and metastatic growth was enhanced. Increased aggressiveness and tumor growth retardation was also observed with parental cells that do not express TRs.
These results show that changes in the stromal cells secondary to host hypothyroidism can modulate tumor progression and metastatic growth independently of the presence of TRs on the tumor cells. On the other hand, the finding that hypothyroidism can affect differentially tumor growth and invasiveness can contribute to the explanation of the confounding reports on the influence of thyroidal status in human cancer.
Thyroid hormone receptor β (TRβ) dysfunction leads to deafness in humans and mice. Deafness in TRβ−/− mutant mice has been attributed to TRβ-mediated control of fast-activating BK current expression in inner hair cells (IHCs). However, normal hearing in young constitutive BKα−/− mutants contradicts this hypothesis. Here we show that mice with hair cell-specific deletion of TRβ after postnatal day (P) 11 have a delay in BKα expression but normal hearing, indicating that the origin of hearing loss in TRβ−/− mutant mice manifested before P11. Analyzing the phenotype of IHCs in constitutive TRβ−/− mice we found normal Ca2+ current amplitudes, exocytosis, and shape of compound action potential waveforms. In contrast, reduced DPOAEs and cochlear microphonics associated with an abnormal structure of the tectorial membrane and enhanced tectorin levels suggest that disturbed mechanical performance is the primary cause of deafness resulting from TRβ deficiency.
hearing; TRβ; BK; conditional knockout mice; tectorin; exocytosis
Aberrant expression and mutations of thyroid hormone receptor genes (TRs) are closely associated with several types of human cancers. To test the hypothesis that TRs could function as tumor suppressors, we took advantage of mice with deletion of all functional TRs (TRα1−/− TRβ−/−mice). As these mice aged, they spontaneously developed follicular thyroid carcinoma with pathological progression from hyperplasia to capsular invasion, vascular invasion, anaplasia and metastasis to the lung, similar to human thyroid cancer. Detailed molecular analysis revealed that known tumor promoters such as pituitary tumor-transforming gene were activated and tumor suppressors such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ and p53 were suppressed during carcinogenesis. In addition, consistent with the human cancer, AKT–mTOR–p70S6K signaling and vascular growth factor and its receptor were activated to facilitate tumor progression. This report presents in vivo evidence that functional loss of both TRα1 and TRβ genes promotes tumor development and metastasis. Thus, TRs could function as tumor suppressors in a mouse model of metastatic follicular thyroid cancer.
thyroid cancer; mouse model; mutations of thyroid hormone receptors
Thyromimetic agents that can treat dyslipidemia without adverse effects like cardiac arrhythmias and osteoporosis are attractive options. Initial experience with desssicated thyroid hormone extract and DT4 were disappointing. Thyroid hormone has nuclear action with four receptor isoforms- TR α1, TRα2, TRβ1, TRβ2. TR α1 has predominant effects on CVS, TRβ2 acts mainly on the pituitary and TRβ1 has hepatoselective action and decrease cholesterol levels. Eprotirome and Sobetirome are 2 thyromimetics that have selective TRβ1 activity. They act in dyslipidemia by multiple mechanisms. They are presumably safe on the pituitary- thyroid axis.
Maturation of the mammalian nervous system requires adequate provision of thyroid hormone and mechanisms that enhance tissue responses to the hormone. Here, we report that the development of cones, the photoreceptors for daylight and color vision, requires protection from thyroid hormone by type 3 deiodinase, a thyroid hormone-inactivating enzyme. Type 3 deiodinase, encoded by Dio3, is expressed in the immature mouse retina. In Dio3−/− mice, ~80% of cones are lost through neonatal cell death. Cones that express opsin photopigments for response to both short (S) and medium-long (M) wavelength light are lost. Rod photoreceptors, which mediate dim light vision, remain largely intact. Excessive thyroid hormone in wild type pups also eliminates cones. Cone loss is mediated by cone-specific thyroid hormone receptor β2 (TRβ2) as deletion of TRβ2 rescues cones in Dio3−/− mice. However, rescued cones respond to short but not longer wavelength light because TRβ2 under moderate hormonal stimulation normally induces M opsin and controls the patterning of M and S opsins over the retina. The results suggest that type 3 deiodinase limits hormonal exposure of the cone to levels that safeguard both cone survival and the patterning of opsins that is required for cone function.
cone photoreceptor; development; color visual system; thyroid hormone receptor; deiodinase; programmed cell death