Endoplasmic reticulum stress inhibits expression of genes involved in thyroid hormone synthesis and their key transcriptional regulators in FRTL-5 thyrocytes
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Institute of Animal Nutrition and Nutrition Physiology
Haushalts- und Ernährungswissenschaften - Ökotrophologie
Kurzfassung auf Englisch:
Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is characterized by the accumulation of misfolded proteins due to an impairment of ER quality control pathways leading to the activation of a defense system, called unfolded protein response (UPR). While thyrocytes are supposed to be highly susceptible to environmental conditions that cause ER stress due to the synthesis of large amounts of secretory proteins required for thyroid hormone synthesis, systematic investigations on the effect of ER stress on expression of key genes of thyroid hormone synthesis and their transcriptional regulators are lacking. Since the aim of the ER stress-induced UPR is to restore ER homeostasis and to facilitate cell survival through transient shutdown of ribosomal protein translation, we hypothesized that the expression of genes involved in thyroid hormone synthesis and their transcriptional regulators, all of which are not essential for cell survival, are down-regulated in thyrocytes during ER stress, while sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs) are activated during ER stress in thyrocytes. Treatment of FRTL-5 thyrocytes with the ER stress inducer tunicamycin (TM) dose-dependently increased the mRNA and/or protein levels of known UPR target genes, stimulated phosphorylation of the ER stress sensor protein kinase RNA-like ER kinase (PERK) and of the PERK target protein eukaryotic initiation factor 2alpha (eIF2alpha) and caused splicing of the ER stress-sensitive transcription factor X-box binding protein (XBP-1) (P < 0.05). The mRNA levels and/or protein levels of genes involved in thyroid hormone synthesis, sodium/iodide symporter (NIS), thyroid peroxidase (TPO) and thyroglobulin (TG), their transcriptional regulators and thyrotropin (TSH) receptor and the uptake of Na125I were reduced at the highest concentration of TM tested (0.1 μg/mL; P < 0.05). Proteolytic activation of the SREBP-1c pathway was not observed in FRTL-5 cells treated with TM, whereas TM reduced proteolytic activation of the SREBP-2 pathway at 0.1 μg TM/mL (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the expression of key genes involved in thyroid hormone synthesis and their critical regulators and of the TSH receptor as well as the uptake of iodide is attenuated in thyrocytes during mild ER stress. Down-regulation of NIS, TPO and TG during ER stress is likely the consequence of impaired TSH/TSHR signaling in concert with reduced expression of critical transcriptional regulators of these genes.
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