Analytical biochemistry

Intracellular anion fluorescence assay for sodium/iodide symporter substrates.

PMID 21545783


The sodium/iodide symporter (NIS) is primarily responsible for iodide accumulation in the thyroid gland for the synthesis of thyroid hormones; however, it can also transport other lyotropic anions in the thyroid gland and nonthyroid tissues. Some NIS substrates have important physiological or clinical roles, and others are environmental contaminants with health-related consequences. The aim of this study was to assess the utility of a yellow fluorescent protein variant, YFP-H148Q/I152L, as a biosensor to monitor the cellular uptake of NIS substrates, including thiocyanate (SCN(-)), nitrate (NO(3)(-)), chlorate (ClO(3)(-)), perchlorate (ClO(4)(-)), and perrhenate (ReO(4)(-)). The fluorescence of purified YFP-H148Q/I152L was suppressed by anions with an order of potency of ReO(4)(-)>ClO(4)(-)=I(-)=SCN(-)=ClO(3)(-)>NO(3)(-)≫Cl(-). Anions also suppressed the fluorescence of YFP-H148Q/I152L expressed in FRTL-5, a thyroid cell line with high NIS expression. Quantitation of intracellular concentrations revealed differences among anions in the affinity and maximal velocity of NIS-mediated uptake as well as in the rate constant for passive efflux. These results suggest that YFP-H148Q/I152L can serve as an intracellular biosensor of NIS-transported anions and may be useful to study the physiology of endogenous anions as well as the health-related consequences of environmental anions.