The genetics of the thyroid stimulating hormone receptor: history and relevance.

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BACKGROUND: The thyroid stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) is the key regulator of thyrocyte function. The gene for the TSHR on chromosome 14q31 has been implicated as coding for the major autoantigen in the autoimmune hyperthyroidism of Graves' disease (GD) to which T cells and autoantibodies are directed. SUMMARY: The TSHR is a seven-transmembrane domain receptor that undergoes complex posttranslational processing. In this brief review, we look at the genetics of this important autoantigen and its influence on a variety of tissue functions in addition to its role in the induction of GD. CONCLUSIONS: There is convincing evidence that the TSH receptor gene confers increased susceptibility for GD, but not Hashimoto's thyroiditis. GD is associated with polymorphisms in the intron 1 gene region. How such noncoding nucleotide changes influence disease susceptibility remains uncertain, but is likely to involve TSHR splicing variants and/or microRNAs arising from this gene region. Whether such influences are confined to the thyroid gland or whether they influence cell function in the many extrathyroidal sites of TSHR expression remains unknown.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-736
Number of pages10
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010


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