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We describe a rare case of congenital hypothyroidism and an extremely high serum thyrotropin (TSH) level caused by a combination of resistance to thyroid hormone (RTH) and a lingual thyroid. As the RTH mutant, R316C, was new, the optimum dose of levothyroxine was unclear. To aid in assessment of the therapy, we characterized the mutant R316C thyroid hormone receptor (TR) and compared it with a common mutant, R316H, using in vitro studies. The patient was a newborn female having severe hypothyroidism with a free thyroxine level of 0.36 ng/dL and a serum TSH level of 177 microU/mL. A scintiscan showed ectopic lingual thyroid tissue without a normal thyroid gland. Supplementation with levothyroxine at a dose of >350 microg/day did not normalize the serum TSH level; however, the patient showed normal growth and intelligence at 14 years of age. Consistent with the results of a computer analysis, the binding of R316C to triiodothyronine (T3) was significantly decreased to 38% that of the wild type. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay demonstrated that like R316H, R316C did not form a homodimer, but formed a heterodimer with RXR. However, a glutathione-S-transferase pull-down assay showed reduced binding of R316C with NCoR in the absence of T3 and impaired release in the presence of T3. In addition, transient transfection experiments demonstrated that unlike R316H, R316C had severe impairment of transcriptional activity on genes both positively and negatively regulated by thyroid hormone. It also had a clear dominant negative effect on genes negatively, but not positively, regulated by thyroid hormone, including the TSH-releasing hormone and TSHbeta genes. This is the first reported case of a R316C TR mutation. The characteristics of the R316C mutant differed from those of the R316H mutant. Our findings suggest that R316C causes reduced association with and impaired release of NCoR, resulting in RTH predominantly at the pituitary level, and that slightly elevated serum TSH level with high dose of levothyroxine might be optimum for normal growth.


Yasuyo Nakajima, Masanobu Yamada, Kazuhiko Horiguchi, Tetsurou Satoh, Koshi Hashimoto, Etsuro Tokuhiro, Kazuhiko Onigata, Masatomo Mori. Resistance to thyroid hormone due to a novel thyroid hormone receptor mutant in a patient with hypothyroidism secondary to lingual thyroid and functional characterization of the mutant receptor. Thyroid : official journal of the American Thyroid Association. 2010 Aug;20(8):917-26

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PMID: 20615127

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