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      Renal Expression of Two ‘Thyroid-Specific’ Genes: Thyrotropin Receptor and Thyroglobulin


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          Numerous renal abnormalities accompany thyroid disease, most of which have been ascribed to the effects of thyroid hormone on renal metabolism. In the present report, we investigate the renal expression of the nominally thyroid-specific proteins, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) receptor (TSHR) and thyroglobulin (Tg), as potential links between renal and thyroid function. The expression of TSHR has been identified in several extrathyroidal tissues, but its presence in the kidney remains controversial. We have used reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing to demonstrate the presence of TSHR transcript in human and mouse kidney, in a primary culture of human kidney, and in a green monkey kidney epithelioid cell line. Furthermore, human kidney cells responded to TSH with a 2.5- fold increase in intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate, suggesting the presence of functional TSHR protein. Comparison of renal expression of TSHR in a bovine growth hormone transgenic mouse model of progressive glomerulosclerosis with control mice suggested increased TSHR transcript in the renal cortex of transgenic animals. TSHR transcript was also detected in mouse mesangial cells in vitro which responded to TSH with significant increases in the formation of three-dimensional hillhocks. Polymerase chain reaction also confirmed the presence of Tg transcript in human and mouse kidneys and in mouse mesangial cells, but no effect of either TSH or cyclic adenosine monophosphate on Tg transcript levels could be discerned. Immunofluorescent staining with a monoclonal anti-Tg antibody identified positive staining in the cytoplasm of mesangial cells. These data suggest that the kidney is capable of expressing the thyroid-specific genes, TSHR and Tg, which could conceivably mediate effects of thyroid disease in the kidney.

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          Cloning and functional expression of a thyrotropin receptor cDNA from rat fat cells.

          Thyrotropin receptor (TSH-R) has been thought to be thyroid-specific, but, by Northern blot analysis, we found that rat adipose tissue expressed TSH-R mRNAs in amounts approaching those in the thyroid. To investigate the function of TSH-R from adipose tissue, we screened a rat fat cell lambda gt11 cDNA library for TSH-R sequences using a 32P-labeled rat thyroid TSH-R cDNA as a probe. Among 10(6) plaques, we obtained four positive clones. Sequencing of these cDNAs has revealed that two of them (F alpha and F beta) contained both initiation and termination codons. Comparison of F alpha with the thyroid TSH-R cDNA sequence revealed that F alpha was almost identical to the thyroid TSH-R, except that nucleotides 1041 and 1277 were changed from A to G and from C to T, respectively. In contrast, we found that F beta contained 21 novel nucleotides between nucleotides 467 and 468 of the thyroid TSH-R cDNA, encoding an additional 7 amino acids. However, when we prepared mRNA from adipose tissue and transcribed it into cDNA, we failed to amplify the F beta type of TSH-R cDNA by polymerase chain reaction, suggesting that F beta mRNAs are rare in the tissue. We then ligated F cDNAs into pSG5 and transfected them with pSV2-neo into Chinese hamster ovary (CHO)-K1 cells. TSH stimulated cAMP formation in CHO-F alpha cells in a manner similar to that in CHO cells transfected with thyroid TSH-R cDNA. In contrast, no increase of cAMP was observed in CHO-F beta cells. IgG from patients with Graves' disease (n = 4) showed thyroid-stimulating antibody activity only in CHO-F alpha cells (1288-4582%). In addition, CHO-F alpha cells and CHO cells transfected with thyroid TSH-R showed similar 125I-TSH binding activity. These results indicate that the fat cell expresses high levels of a TSH-R whose function is indistinguishable from that in the thyroid and suggest that the TSH-R autoantibody plays an important role in the pathogenesis of the extrathyroidal manifestations of Graves' disease.
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            Identification of a point mutation in the thyrotropin receptor of the hyt/hyt hypothyroid mouse.

            The hyt/hyt hypothyroid mouse has an autosomal recessive, fetal-onset, severe hypothyroidism related to TSH hyporesponsiveness and associated with elevated TSH. Our previous work has suggested that the hypothyroidism and TSH hyporesponsiveness may result from a mutation in the hyt/hyt TSH receptor (TSHr) of the thyroid gland. Based on DNA sequencing of the entire coding region of the TSHr gene from the wild-type BALB/cBY +/+ mouse, the +/+ TSHr is 92% and 94% identical at the nucleotide and amino acid residue levels, respectively, compared to the rat TSHr gene. The coding region of the hyt/hyt TSHr, compared to that of the +/+ TSHr, has a single base change, CCG to CTG, at nucleotide position 1666, which leads to the replacement of a highly conserved proline at amino acid position 556 with a leucine in transmembrane domain IV. This mutation was introduced by site-directed mutagenesis into the wild-type human TSHr and transiently expressed in COS-7 cells. Although the size and abundance of the mutant TSHr mRNA suggested that there was no effect on the nature of the mRNA, TSH binding and the response to TSH in transfected cells were abolished. Further studies are necessary to clarify how the Pro to Leu replacement interferes with receptor expression on the cell surface or influences TSH binding. These functional consequences of the mutation appear to account for the observed TSH hyporesponsiveness and hypothyroidism in the hyt/hyt mouse.
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              Evidence for the presence of functional thyrotropin receptor in cardiac muscle.

              There is increasing evidence that the membrane-bound thyrotropin receptor (TSHR) may be mediating clinically important direct effects of thyrotropin (TSH) and of TSHR antibodies (TSHRab) in extra-thyroidal tissues. TSHR mRNA has formerly been detected in thyroid, retroorbital muscle and fibroblasts, peripheral lymphocytes and rodent fat. It is well known that thyroid disease may aggravate or induce heart disease, but the pathophysiological role of TSH and TSHRab is not clear. The aim of this study was to investigate if TSHR is present in cardiac muscle. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reactions revealed TSHR in human heart and Northern blot on extracted RNA showed a RNA species of 4.4 kb. TSH stimulation of cultured mouse AT-1 cardiomyocytes elevated the levels of intracellular second messenger 3',5'-cyclic AMP. This effect of TSH could be inhibited by TSHR antibodies. In solution hybridization levels of TSHR mRNA in AT-1 cells were 50% of mRNA in crude mouse heart. In conclusion functional TSHR is present in cardiomyocytes.

                Author and article information

                Nephron Exp Nephrol
                Cardiorenal Medicine
                S. Karger AG
                October 2000
                31 July 2000
                : 8
                : 4-5
                : 235-243
                Divisions of aEndocrinology and bNephrology, Department of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md., USA; cDivision of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Hyogo Prefectural Amagasaki Hospital, Amagasaki, and dDepartment of Medicine and Clinical Science, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan; eWashington Hospital Center, Washington, D.C., and fEdison Biotechnology Institute, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA
                20674 Exp Nephrol 2000;8:235–243
                © 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 10, References: 29, Pages: 9
                Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/20674
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                Self URI (journal page): https://www.karger.com/SubjectArea/Nephrology
                Original Paper

                Cardiovascular Medicine,Nephrology
                Thyrotropin receptor,Thyroglobulin,Mesangial cells,Thyroid
                Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology
                Thyrotropin receptor, Thyroglobulin, Mesangial cells, Thyroid


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