Identification and functions of the plasma membrane receptor for thyroid hormone analogues.

Hung Yun Lin, Vivian Cody, Faith B. Davis, Aleck A. Hercbergs, Mary K. Luidens, Shaker A. Mousa, Paul J. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Integrin αvβ3 is a heterodimeric structural protein of the plasma membrane that bears a cell surface receptor for thyroid hormone. The functions of this receptor are distinct from those of the classical nuclear receptor (TR) for thyroid hormone. The integrin is expressed primarily by cancer cells, dividing endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells, and osteoclasts. The hormone receptor on αvβ3 enables L-thyroxine (T(4)) and 3, 5, 3'-triiodo-L-thyronine (T(3)) to stimulate cancer cell proliferation and angiogenesis and to regulate the activity of certain membrane ion pumps. Bound to the receptor, the hormone ligand also stimulates protein trafficking within the cell. A deaminated derivative of T(4), tetraiodothyroacetic acid (tetrac), blocks binding and actions of T(4) and T(3) at the receptor on αvβ3; tetrac also has anti-proliferative actions at the integrin thyroid hormone receptor beyond the effects of antagonizing actions of agonist thyroid hormone analogues at the receptor. The structure-activity relationships of hormone analogues at the receptor have been computer-modeled and indicate that the receptor includes a site that binds T(3) and a site that binds both T(4) and T(3). Mathematical modeling of the kinetics of hormone-binding also suggests the existence of two sites. Cell proliferation is modulated from the T(4)/T(3) site. Tetrac has been re-formulated as a nanoparticle (nanotetrac) that acts exclusively at the αvβ3 receptor and does not enter cells. Nanotetrac disrupts expression of genes in multiple cancer cell survival pathways. The tetrac formulations block human cancer cell proliferation in vitro and in tumor xenografts. Nanotetrac and tetrac inhibit the pro-angiogenic actions in vitro of vascular endothelial growth factor, basic fibroblast factor, and other growth factors. Thus, the receptor described on integrin αvβ3 for T(4) and T(3), the function of which is materially affected by tetrac and nanotetrac, provides insight into tumor cell biology and vascular biology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-347
Number of pages11
JournalDiscovery medicine
Issue number59
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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