PloS one

Thyroid hormone response element half-site organization and its effect on thyroid hormone mediated transcription.

PMID 24971931


Thyroid hormone (TH) exerts its effects by binding to the thyroid hormone receptor (TR), which binds to TH response elements (TREs) to regulate target gene expression. We investigated the relative ability of liganded homodimers TR and retinoid X receptor (RXR), and the heterodimer TR/RXR, to regulate gene expression for the TRE half-site organizations: direct repeat 4 (DR4), inverted repeat 0 (IR0) and everted repeat 6 (ER6). Luciferase reporter assays using a DR4 TRE suggest that both the TR homodimer and TR/RXR heterodimer regulate luciferase expression in the presence of their respective ligands. However, in the presence of the IR0 TRE, transfection with TR/RXR and RXR alone increased luciferase activity and there was no effect of TR alone. The presence of 9-cis-retinoic acid was necessary for luciferase expression, whereas TH treatment alone was insufficient. For the ER6 TRE, transfection with TR/RXR, TR alone and RXR alone (in the presence of their respective ligands) all caused a significant increase in luciferase activity. When both ligands were present, transfection with both TR/RXR caused more activation. Finally, we investigated the efficacy of the TR-antagonist 1-850 in inhibiting transcription by TR or TR/RXR at DR4 and ER6 TREs. We found that 1-850 did not suppress luciferase activation in the presence of TR/RXR for the ER6 TRE, suggesting conformational changes of the ligand binding domain of the TR when bound to different TRE half-site organizations. Collectively, the findings indicate that there are fundamental differences between TRE configurations that affect nuclear receptor interactions with the response element and ability to bind ligands and antagonists.

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