Na+/I- symporter (NIS)-mediated active accumulation of I- in thyrocytes is a key step in the biosynthesis of the iodine-containing thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Several NIS mutants have been identified as a cause of congenital I- transport defect (ITD), and their investigation has yielded valuable mechanistic information on NIS. Here we report novel findings derived from the thorough characterization of the ITD-causing mutation R124H, located in the second intracellular loop (IL-2). R124H NIS is incompletely glycosylated and colocalizes with endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident protein markers. As a result, R124H NIS is not targeted to the plasma membrane and therefore does not mediate any I- transport in transfected COS-7 cells. Strikingly, however, the mutant is intrinsically active, as revealed by its ability to mediate I- transport in membrane vesicles. Of all the amino acid substitutions we carried out at position 124 (K, D, E, A, W, N and Q), only Gln restored targeting of NIS to the plasma membrane and NIS activity, suggesting a key structural role for the δ-amino group of R124 in the transporter's maturation and cell surface targeting. Using our NIS homology model based on the structure of the Vibrio parahaemolyticus Na+/galactose symporter, we propose an interaction between the d-amino group of either R or Q124 and the thiol group of C440, located in IL-6. We conclude that the interaction between IL-2 and IL-6 is critical for the local folding required for NIS maturation and plasma membrane trafficking.
- Congenital iodide transport defect
- Impaired intracellular trafficking
- Membrane vesicles
- Na/I symporter (NIS)
- Plasma membrane targeting
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology