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Protein-tyrosine sulfation is a post-translational modification of an unknown number of secreted and membrane proteins mediated by two known Golgi tyrosylprotein sulfotransferases (TPST-1 and TPST-2). Tpst double knockouts were generated to investigate the importance of tyrosine sulfation in vivo. Double knockouts were born alive at the expected frequency, were normal in size, and their tissues do not synthesize sulfotyrosine. However, most pups die in the early postnatal period with signs of cardiopulmonary insufficiency. A combination of clinical, magnetic resonance imaging, and histological data indicated that lungs of Tpst double knockouts fail to expand at birth resulting in acute pulmonary hypertension, right-to-left shunting, and death by asphyxia in the early postnatal period. Some double knockouts survive the postnatal period, but fail to thrive and display delayed growth that is due in part to hypothyroidism. In addition, we find that Tpst2-/- mice have primary hypothyroidism, but that Tpst1-/- mice are euthyroid. This suggests that a protein(s) required for thyroid hormone production is sulfated and cannot be sulfated in the absence of TPST-2. Thus, Tpst1 and Tpst2 are the only Tpst genes in mice, tyrosine sulfation is required for normal pulmonary function at birth, and TPST-2 is required for normal thyroid gland function.


Andrew D Westmuckett, Adam J Hoffhines, Atefeh Borghei, Kevin L Moore. Early postnatal pulmonary failure and primary hypothyroidism in mice with combined TPST-1 and TPST-2 deficiency. General and comparative endocrinology. 2008 Mar 1;156(1):145-53

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PMID: 18243191

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