Priority Programme: THYROID TRANS ACT
Translation of Thyroid Hormone Actions beyond Classical Concepts

Prof. Dr. Klaudia Brix

Auto-regulation of the thyroid gland by classical and non-classical pathways

Thyroid hormone (TH) target cells need to adopt mechanisms to maintain sufficient levels of TH to ensure regular functions. Interference with auto-regulative or auto-protective mechanisms against a lack or an excess of TH is a first likely cause of inadequate organ function. In the specific case of the thyroid gland itself, auto-protection is also vital for all other organs that are dependent on TH.

The main objective of this project is therefore to reach a better understanding of cellular and molecular pathways underlying auto-regulation of thyroid functions. To this aim we plan to investigate classical regulatory mechanisms by comparing wild type mice with cysteine cathepsin-deficient animals that are characterized by altered TH generation due to impaired thyroglobulin processing. Non-classical pathways of thyroid auto-regulation will be studied by analyzing TH transporters and thyronamines.

Thus, we will investigate how TH transporters, which enable regulated TH transport across the plasma membrane, are expressed in thyroid tissue under conditions of lacking cysteine cathepsins, i.e. when classical TH regulation is altered. Because evidence exists that thyrocytes react to non-classical TH like thyronamines, we further propose to study their actions and signaling targets, the trace amine-associated receptors, in thyrocytes using proliferation and differentiation as read-outs to clarify how the thyroid feeds back on itself.


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Project Coordinator(s):

Prof. Dr. Klaudia Brix
Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH
Department of Life Sciences and Chemistry
Campus Ring 1
28759 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 200 3246
Fax: +49 421 200 3249