Mechanisms of Thyroid Hormone Action: Insights from X-ray Crystallographic and Functional Studies

Ralff C.J. Ribeiro, James W. Apriletti, Richard L. Wagner, Brian L. West, Weijun Feng, Russ Huber, Peter J. Kushner, Steffan Nilsson, Thomas Scanlan, Robert J. Fletterick, Fred Schaufele, John D. Baxter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


This review summarizes the studies conducted in our laboratory on the mechanisms of thyroid hormone action over the past two decades. We have attempted to place our studies on thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) in perspective with the work conducted by other investigators that established their nuclear localization, DNA-binding properties, DNA response elements, and the role of other proteins involved in TR-mediated regulation of gene transcription. Recently, our crystallographic studies of the TR ligand binding domain (LBD) revealed that the ligand has a structural role in the folding of the receptor's hydrophobic core. The analysis of the structure led to biochemical and genetic studies that have defined the surfaces on the TR LBD required for dimerization and binding of coactivator proteins. Placement of the mutations found in patients with the syndrome of generalized resistance to thyroid hormone on the TR LBD revealed that they were restricted to amino acids in the vicinity of the binding pocket for thyroid hormone. The insights gained from the elucidation of the TR LBD structure will provide the basis for the design of compounds with selective agonistic or antagonistic activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-392
Number of pages42
JournalRecent progress in hormone research
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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