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JY Wu, SG Shu, CF Yang, CC Lee, and FJ Tsai

Total iodide organification defect (TIOD), where the iodide in the thyroid gland cannot be oxidized and/or bound to the protein, is caused by a defect in the thyroid peroxidase (TPO) gene. Single strand conformation polymorphism analysis was used to screen for mutations in the TPO gene from five unrelated TIOD patients in Taiwan, and five novel mutations were detected. Three of these were frameshift mutations: a single T insertion between nucleotide position 2268 and 2269 (c.2268-2269 insT) in exon 13 and two single C deletions at nucleotide positions 843 (c.843 delC) and 2413 (c.2413 delC) in exon 8 and 14 respectively. The other two were single nucleotide substitutions (c.G1477>A and c.G2386>T) located in exons 9 and 13 respectively. While the former would result in amino acid substitution (Gly493Ser) in the highly conserved region of the TPO polypeptide, the latter would result in either amino acid substitution (Asp796Tyr) or alternative splicing. Of those identified TPO mutations, c.2268-2269 insT was most prevalent and was detected as heterozygous in all but one TIOD patients. All five TIOD patients investigated in this study were compound heterozygous. The method presented in this study could be used for carrier assessment and mutation analysis of newly identified TIOD patients.

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KH Lin, HY Lee, CH Shih, CC Yen, SL Chen, RC Yang, and CS Wang

Thyroid hormones (THs) regulate growth, development, differentiation and metabolic processes by interacting and activating thyroid hormone receptors (TRs). Although much progress has been made in our understanding of the transcriptional regulation of many TR target genes, little is known of the regulation of plasma protein gene expression by TRs. To investigate the role of TRs in plasma protein expression we used human hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines and carried out cDNA microarray analysis. Our results indicate that several plasma proteins including transferrin, prothrombin, angiotensinogen, haptoglobin, alpha-2-HS-glycoprotein alpha and beta chain, complement, lipoproteins and fibrinogen are up-regulated by THs. Furthermore, clusterin, alpha-2-macroglobulin precursor, prothymosin alpha and alpha-fetoprotein were found to be down-regulated by THs.Transferrin, an iron-binding protein expressed in all mammals, and mainly synthesized in the liver, was investigated further. Immunoblot and Northern blot analyses revealed that exposure of HepG2-TRalpha1 sub-lines and HepG2-Neo cells to tri-iodothyronine (T(3)) induced time- and dose-dependent increases in the abundance of transferrin mRNA and protein, with the extent of these effects correlating with the level of expression of TRalpha1. Nuclear run-on experiments indicate that this induction is functioning at the transcriptional level. Moreover, cyclohexamide treatment did not eliminate the induction of transferrin by TH. Thus, our results suggest that the induction of transferrin by TH is direct and may in fact be mediated by an as yet unidentified response element in the promoter region.