Potential mechanisms of thyroid disruption in humans: interaction of organochlorine compounds with thyroid receptor, transthyretin, and thyroid-binding globulin.
Organochlorine compounds, particularly polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), alter serum thyroid hormone levels in humans. Hydroxylated organochlorines have relatively high affinities for the serum transport protein transthyretin, but the ability of these compounds to interact with the human thyroid receptor is unknown. Using a baculovirus expression system in insect cells (Sf9 cells), we produced recombinant human thyroid receptor ss (hTRss). In competitive binding experiments, the recombinant receptor had the expected relative affinity for thyroid hormones and their analogs. In competitive inhibition experiments with PCBs, hydroxylated PCBs (OH-PCBs), DDT and its metabolites, and several organochlorine herbicides, only the OH-PCBs competed for binding. The affinity of hTRss for OH-PCBs was 10,000-fold lower (Ki = 20-50 microM) than its affinity for thyroid hormone (3,3',5-triiodothyronine, T3; Ki = 10 nM). Because their relative affinity for the receptor was low, we tested the ability of OH-PCBs to interact with the serum transport proteins--transthyretin and thyroid-binding globulin (TBG). With the exception of one compound, the OH-PCBs had the same affinity (Ki = 10-80 nM) for transthyretin as thyroid hormone (thyroxine; T4). Only two of the OH-PCBs bound TBG (Ki = 3-7 microM), but with a 100-fold lower affinity than T4. Hydroxylated PCBs have relatively low affinities for the human thyroid receptor in vitro, but they have a thyroid hormonelike affinity for the serum transport protein transthyretin. Based on these results, OH-PCBs in vivo are more likely to compete for binding to serum transport proteins than for binding to the thyroid receptor. (+info
Reverse triiodothyronine, thyroid hormone, and thyrotrophin concentrations in placental cord blood.
Reverse triiodothyronine (rT3), triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), thyroxine binding globulin (TBG), and thyrotrophin (TSH) were measured in sera from placental cord blood in an unselected series of 272 deliveries. In this series the concentrations of rT3 (mean 3.33 nmol/l, 95% confidence limits 1.6--7.0 nmol/l), were log normally distributed and did not overlap the adult normal range (0.11--0.44 nmol/l). There were no correlations between the cord blood concentrations of rT3, T3, T4, and TSH. The cord serum rT3 concentration was not influenced by maturity, birth-weight, or neonatal risk factors, whereas these factors did affect the concentrations of T3, T4, AND TBG. There is no arteriovenous rT3 concentration difference across the placenta, therefore the cord rT3 reflects the systemic rT3 concentration in the baby at birth. As rT3 in the neonate largely, if not entirely, derives from thyroxine from the fetal thyroid, measurement of the cord rT3 concentration may be a good immediate screening test for neonatal hypothyroidism. (+info
Modularity of serpins. A bifunctional chimera possessing alpha1-proteinase inhibitor and thyroxine-binding globulin properties.
An exciting application of protein engineering is the creation of proteins with novel functions by the retrofitting of native proteins. Such attempts might be facilitated by the idea of a mosaic architecture of proteins out of structural units. Even though numerous theoretical concepts deal with the delineation of structural "modules," their potential in the design of proteins has not yet been sufficiently exploited. To address this question we used a gain of function approach by designing modular chimeric molecules out of two structurally homologous but functionally diverse members of the superfamily of serine-proteinase inhibitors, alpha1-proteinase inhibitor and thyroxine-binding globulin. Substitution of two of four alpha1-proteinase inhibitor modules (Lys222 to Leu288 and Pro362 to Lys394, respectively), identified by alpha-backbone distance analysis, with their thyroxine-binding globulin homologues resulted in a bifunctional chimera with inhibition of human leukocyte elastase and high affinity thyroxine binding. To our knowledge, this is the first report on a bifunctional chimera engineered from modules of homologous globular proteins. Our results demonstrate how a modular concept can facilitate the design of new functional proteins by swapping structural units chosen from members of a protein superfamily. (+info
Gene amplification as a common cause of inherited thyroxine-binding globulin excess: analysis of one familial and two sporadic cases.
T4-binding globulin (TBG) is the major thyroid hormone transport protein in humans. Inherited abnormalities in the level of serum TBG have been classified as partial deficiency, complete deficiency and excess. A single nucleotide deletion or substitution in the TBG gene, located on Xq22, has been detected in partial and complete deficiencies. As for inherited TBG excess, the gene amplification has been recognized in two Japanese families recently. In this study, an additional three Japanese families, one familial (F-I) and two sporadic TBG excess (F-II, F-III), were analyzed. Serum TBG levels in hemizygous males were 73, 47 and 42 microg/ml, three- to two-fold the normal value. The molecule had normal properties in terms of heat stability and isoelectric focussing pattern. The gene dosage of TBG was evaluated by coamplification with autosomal betaGlobin or X-chromosomal Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and subsequent quantitation by HPLC. The TBG/betaGlobin ratios of the affected male and female of F-I were 3.09- and 3.86-times, respectively, compared to that of the normal males. The TBG/DMD ratios were 2.93- and 2.09-times, respectively. These results are compatible with three copies of the TBG gene on the affected X-chromosome. Similarly, a twofold increase in gene dosage was demonstrated in the affected males of sporadic cases. Their mothers with normal TBG values had the same TBG gene dosage as normal females, suggesting that de novo gene duplication arose in gametes probably during meiosis. Amplification of the TBG gene was not recognized in these three families by in situ hybridization of prometaphase chromosomes. Though the mechanism remains unproved, gene amplification of TBG was considered to be a common cause for inherited TBG excess. (+info
Tables to estimate total binding capacity of thyroxine-binding globulin from the in vitro thyroid function tests.
Equations for an estimate of the total binding capacity of serum thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG-TC) were developed relating this parameter to serum thyroxine concentration (T4) and in vitro uptake (T3U). This extimate demonstrated a highly significant, positive correlation with TBG-TC as measured by electrophoresis in ten normal subjectdividuals with altered TBG-TC but without thyroid dysfunction (ten normal pregnant women, ten healthy women receiving anovulatories, ten nephrotics, and ten patients with severe malnutrition). True-positive (sensitivity) and true-negative (specificity) ratios were calculated for total and free T4 in serum, T3U, Free T4 Index, and both measured and calculated TBG-TC. False-positive results for free T4 index (12%) were due to altered TBG-TC. In such cases, 93% were recognized by the calculated TBG-TC from the calues of the invitro tests. It is concluded that this estimates should be added to the in vitro thyroid tests for their proper interpretation in cases where altered TBG-TC could be misleading. This estimate applies only to the particular in vitro testing system used herein. (+info
Interference of iodine-125 ligands in radioimmunoassay: evidence implicating thyroxine-binding globulin.
Although there is abundant published evidence that radioiodinated antigens interfere in digoxin radioimmunoassays, other radioimmunoassays are similarly affected. We investigated the relationship of radioiodinated antigen structure to its function in the immunoassay. Carrier-free 125I-labeled iodotyrosine and iodohistamine derivatives were incubated with human serum, and the bound and free fractions were separated. We demonstrated that diiodotyrosyl analogs bind avidly to serum proteins. Because protein binding could be reduced with competitors that inhibit thyroxine-binding globulin, such as 1,8-anilinonaphthalene sulfonate and thyroxine, thyroxine-binding globulin was clearly implicated. Diiodotyrosyl compounds also bound to solutions of purified thyroxine-binding globulin, and this binding was inhibited by the same two competitors. We postulate that thyroxine-binding globulin is the major source of the heretofore unexplained interference of radioiodinated haptens. We present recommendations for eliminating or minimizing such interference. (+info
Variation in values for iodothyronine hormones, thyrotropin, and thyroxine-binding globulin in normal umbilical-cord serum with season and duration of storage.
We measured concentrations of thyroxine, triiodothyronine, reverse triiodothyronine, thyroxine-binding globulin, and thyrotropin in pooled samples of cord sera from normal newborns. Sera collected in winter contain significantly (p less than 0.05) higher concentrations of the first tour--14.9, 13.4, 9k9, and 7.5%, respectively--than do sera collected in summer; thyrotropin concentrations are similar in samples collected during winter and summer (p greater than 0.05). With storage, the values for the thyronines and thyrotropin decreased progressively at rates between 0.9 and 5.3% per year; those for thyroxine-binding globulin did not change significantly. (+info
Effects of growth hormone replacement therapy on levels of cortisol and cortisol-binding globulin in hypopituitary adults.
OBJECTIVE: To determine if human growth hormone (hGH) replacement therapy alters pharmacokinetics of hydrocortisone (CS) substitution in hypopituitary adults. DESIGN: To this aim, we analysed serum and salivary CS profiles 270 min after oral CS administration at baseline and 6 and 12 months after initiation of hGH replacement therapy. METHODS: Serum IGF-I, cortisol-binding globulin (CBG), thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG) and sex hormone-binding hormone (SHBG) were measured using commercially available radioimmunoassays. In-house immunofluorometric assays were employed for measurements of CS and hGH. RESULTS: hGH replacement did not change total serum CS bioavailability (area under the serum cortisol profile curve). Interference of orally administered CS with salivary measurement of free CS (fCS) caused significant bias. Therefore, fCS levels were calculated from their total CS and cortisol-binding globulin (CBG) levels. CBG decreased by approximately 30% after both 6 and 12 months of hGH replacement therapy (n=20, P<0.01). A significant negative correlation between deltaCBG (CBG6months-CBGbaseline) and deltaIGF-I (IGF-I6months-IGF-Ibaseline) was observed (P=0.04). The calculated values of free CS tended to increase with physiological hGH replacement, but this effect was marginal and did not reach statistical significance. In contrast to the CBG concentrations, plasma levels of sex hormone-binding globulin and thyroxine-binding globulin were essentially stable. CONCLUSION: Given that no clinically relevant alterations in pharmacokinetics of CS were evoked by initiation of hGH replacement in hypopituitary adults, we conclude that CS substitution does not require dose adjustment after initiation of hGH replacement. (+info