Post-translational modifications of transthyretin affect the triiodonine-binding potential

Henze A., Homann T., SERTESER M. , CAN Ö. , Sezgin O. , COŞKUN A. , ...More

JOURNAL OF CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR MEDICINE, vol.19, no.2, pp.359-370, 2015 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/jcmm.12446
  • Page Numbers: pp.359-370
  • Keywords: transthyretin, triiodthyronine, cysteine oxidation, post-translational modifications, thyroid hormones, molecular modelling, mass spectrometry, THYROXINE-BINDING, THYROID-HORMONES, MICROHETEROGENEITY, GLUTATHIONE, PREALBUMIN, STABILITY, TRANSPORT, VARIANTS, PROTEINS, ISOFORMS


Transthyretin (TTR) is a visceral protein, which facilitates the transport of thyroid hormones in blood and cerebrospinal fluid. The homotetrameric structure of TTR enables the simultaneous binding of two thyroid hormones per molecule. Each TTR subunit provides a single cysteine residue (Cys(10)), which is frequently affected by oxidative post-translational modifications. As Cys(10) is part of the thyroid hormone-binding channel within the TTR molecule, PTM of Cys(10) may influence the binding of thyroid hormones. Therefore, we analysed the effects of Cys(10) modification with sulphonic acid, cysteine, cysteinylglycine and glutathione on binding of triiodothyronine (T3) by molecular modelling. Furthermore, we determined the PTM pattern of TTR in serum of patients with thyroid disease by immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry to evaluate this association in vivo. The in silico assays demonstrated that oxidative PTM of TTR resulted in substantial reorganization of the intramolecular interactions and also affected the binding of T3 in a chemotype- and site-specific manner with S-glutathionylation as the most potent modulator of T3 binding. These findings were supported by the in vivo results, which indicated thyroid function-specific patterns of TTR with a substantial decrease in S-sulphonated, S-cysteinylglycinated and S-glutathionylated TTR in hypothyroid patients. In conclusion, this study provides evidence that oxidative modifications of Cys(10) seem to affect binding of T3 to TTR probably because of the introduction of a sterical hindrance and induction of conformational changes. As oxidative modifications can be dynamically regulated, this may represent a sensitive mechanism to adjust thyroid hormone availability.