Jan 29, 2017

The ups and downs of the thyroxine pro-hormone hypothesis

Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology
V A Galton

Abstract

Thyroxine (T4) is the major thyroid hormone in the thyroid gland and the circulation. However, it is widely accepted on the basis of abundant evidence that 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3) is responsible for most, if not all, of the physiological effects of TH in extrathyroidal tissues, and T4 functions as the pro-hormone. Whether T4 has any intrinsic activity per se or is merely a pro-hormone that must be converted to T3 in order to exert any TH action has yet to be resolved. Although there are some physiological actions of T4 that are mediated by receptors at the cell membrane (non-genomic effects), the vast majority of the physiological effects of the THs identified to date involve the binding of T3 to specific nuclear receptors to regulate gene expression (genomic effects). This review examines how the role of T4 in genomic TH action has been viewed and debated during the hundred years since it was first isolated in 1914.

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Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

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