Physiological role and regulation of iodothyronine deiodinases: A 2011 update
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- Marsili, A., Zavacki, A.M., Harney, J.W. et al. J Endocrinol Invest (2011) 34: 395. doi:10.1007/BF03347465
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T4 is a prohormone secreted by the thyroid. T4 has a long half life in circulation and it is tightly regulated to remain constant in a variety of circumstances. However, the availability of iodothyronine selenodeiodinases allow both the initiation or the cessation of thyroid hormone action and can result in surprisingly acute changes in the intracellular concentration of the active hormone T3, in a tissue-specific and chronologically-determined fashion, in spite of the constant circulating levels of the prohormone. This fine-tuning of thyroid hormone signaling is becoming widely appreciated in the context of situations where the rapid modifications in intracellular T3 concentrations are necessary for developmental changes or tissue repair. Given the increasing availability of genetic models of deiodinase deficiency, new insights into the role of these important enzymes are being recognized. In this review, we have incorporated new information regarding the special role played by these enzymes into our current knowledge of thyroid physiology, emphasizing the clinical significance of these new insights.