Distinct tissue-specific roles for thyroid hormone receptors β and α1 in regulation of type 1 deiodinase expression

Lori L. Amma, Angel Campos-Barros, Zhendong Wang, Björn Vennström, Douglas Forrest

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91 Scopus citations


Type 1 deiodinase (D1) metabolizes different forms of thyroid hormones to control levels of T3, the active ligand for thyroid hormone receptors (TR). The D1 gene is itself T3-inducible and here, the regulation of D1 expression by TRα1 and TRβ, which act as T3-dependent transcription factors, was investigated in receptor-deficient mice. Liver and kidney D1 mRNA and activity levels were reduced in TRβ-/- but not TRα1-/- mice. Liver D1 remained weakly T3 inducible in TRβ-/- mice whereas induction was abolished in double mutant TRα1-/-TRβ-/- mice. This indicates that TRβ is primarily responsible for regulating D1 expression whereas TRα1 has only a minor role. In kidney, despite the expression of both TRα1 and TRβ, regulation relied solely on TRβ, thus revealing a marked tissue restriction in TR isotype utilization. Although TRβ and TRα1 mediate similar functions in vitro, these results demonstrate differential roles in regulating D1 expression in vivo and suggest that tissue-specific factors and structural distinctions between TR isotypes contribute to functional specificity. Remarkably, there was an obligatory requirement for a TR, whether TRβ or TRα1, for any detectable D1 expression in liver. This suggests a novel paradigm of gene regulation in which the TR sets both basal expression and the spectrum of induced states. Physiologically, these findings suggest a critical role for TRα in regulating the thyroid hormone status through D1-mediated metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-475
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Endocrinology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


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