Background: Thyroid hormone (TH) acts on TH receptors (TRs) and regulates gene transcription by binding of TRs to TH response elements (TREs) in target gene promoters. The transcriptional activity of TRs is modulated by interactions with TR-coregulatory proteins. Mutations in TRα cause resistance to thyroid hormone alpha (RTHα). In this study, we analyzed if, beyond reduced triiodothyronine (T3) affinity, altered interactions with cofactors or different TREs could account for the differential impaired transcriptional activity of different mutants. Methods: We evaluated four mutants derived from patients (D211G, M256T, A263S, and R384H) and three artificial mutants at equivalent positions in patients with RTHβ (T223A, L287V, and P398H). The in vitro transcriptional activity was evaluated on TRE-luciferase reporters (DR4, IR0, and ER6). The affinity for T3 and interaction with coregulatory proteins (nuclear receptor corepressor 1 [NCoR1] and steroid receptor coactivator 1 [SRC1]) were also determined. Results: We found that the affinity for T3 was significantly reduced for all mutants, except for TRα1-T223A. The reduction in the T3 sensitivity of the transcriptional activity on three TREs, the dissociation of the corepressor NCoR1, and the association of the coactivator SRC1 recruitment for each mutant correlated with the reduced affinity for T3. We did not observe mutation-specific alterations in interactions with cofactors or TREs. Conclusions: In summary, the degree of impaired transcriptional activity of mutants is mainly determined by their reduced affinity for T3.

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Keywords coregulatory proteins, receptor mutation, resistance to thyroid hormone, thyroid hormone action, thyroid hormone receptor, thyroid hormone response elements
Persistent URL,
Journal Thyroid
Wejaphikul, K, Van Gucht, A.L.M, Groeneweg, S, Visser, W.J, Visser, T.J, Peeters, R.P, & Meima, M.E. (2019). The In Vitro Functional Impairment of Thyroid Hormone Receptor Alpha 1 Isoform Mutants Is Mainly Dictated by Reduced Ligand Sensitivity. Thyroid, 29(12), 1834–1842. doi:10.1089/thy.2019.0019