Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 49–53 | Cite as

Deletion of thyrotropin receptor residue Asp403 in a hyperfunctioning thyroid nodule provides insight into the role of the ectodomain in ligand-induced receptor activation

  • E. NishiharaEmail author
  • C.-R. Chen
  • Y. Mizutori-Sasai
  • M. Ito
  • S. Kubota
  • N. Amino
  • A. Miyauchi
  • B. Rapoport
Original Article


Somatic mutations of the TSH receptor (TSHR) gene are the main cause of autonomously functioning thyroid nodules. Except for mutations in ectodomain residue S281, all of the numerous reported activating mutations are in the TSHR membrane-spanning region. Here, we describe a patient with a toxic adenoma with a novel heterozygous somatic mutation caused by deletion of ectodomain residue Asp403 (Del-D403). Subsequent in vitro functional studies of the Del-D403 TSHR mutation demonstrated greatly increased ligand-independent constitutive activity, 8-fold above that of the wild-type TSHR. TSH stimulation had little further effect, indicating that the mutation produced near maximal activation of the receptor. In summary, we report only the second TSHR ectodomain activating mutation (and the first ectodomain deletion mutation) responsible for development of a thyroid toxic adenoma. Because Del-D403 causes near maximal activation, our finding provides novel insight into TSHR structure and function; residue D403 is more likely to be involved in the ligand-mediated activating pathway than in the ectodomain inverse agonist property.


Adenylyl cyclase activation autonomously functioning thyroid nodule ectodomain somatic mutation thyrotropin receptor 


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Nishihara
    • 1
    Email author
  • C.-R. Chen
    • 2
  • Y. Mizutori-Sasai
    • 1
  • M. Ito
    • 1
  • S. Kubota
    • 1
  • N. Amino
    • 1
  • A. Miyauchi
    • 1
  • B. Rapoport
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Excellence in Thyroid CareKuma HospitalKobeJapan
  2. 2.Thyroid Autoimmunity UnitCedars-Sinai Research Institute and University of California Los Angeles School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA

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