Failure of membrane targeting causes the functional defect of two mutant sodium iodide symporters

Joachim Pohlenz, Laurence Duprez, Roy E. Weiss, Gilbert Vassart, Samuel Refetoff, Sabine Costagliola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Molecular cloning of the sodium/iodide symporter (NIS) allowed identification of NIS gene mutations in patients with iodide trapping defect. Whereas various mutant human (h) NIS molecules display loss of function when expressed by transfection in mammalian cells, the precise mechanism(s) responsible for the functional abnormality of these proteins remains unknown. With the aim to explore these mechanisms in three natural hNIS mutants identified previously in patients with iodide trapping defect (Q267E, S515X, and C272X), we have prepared tools allowing direct measurement of the protein at its normal location in the plasma membrane. A COS-7 cell line was made by transfection that stably expressed high levels of wild-type hNIS. It was used to screen by flow cytometry monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) prepared from mice immunized against hNIS. Genetic immunization was performed by im injection of a wild-type hNIS complementary DNA construct, because this procedure has demonstrated the ability to produce antibodies recognizing native membrane proteins. One mAb that recognized an epitope of hNIS exposed on the extracellular side of the plasma membrane was selected for further studies. The epitope was localized on the sixth putative extracellular loop of the protein on the basis that the mAb did not recognize rat NIS, which exhibits major sequence differences in this segment. When this mAb was used to test by flow cytometry the expression of the three mutant hNIS proteins in transfected COS-7 cells, it detected similar amounts of wild-type, Q267E, and the S515X hNIS molecules in permeabilized cells. In contrast, only the wild-type hNIS was detected at the surface of nonpermeabilized cells. The C272X hNIS truncation mutant was not detected in intact or permeabilized cells. This is consistent with the absence of the mAb epitope from this mutant, which is expected to lack the sixth extracellular loop. Our data demonstrate that faulty membrane targeting is implicated in the mechanisms causing iodide trapping defect in the Q267E and S515X natural hNIS mutants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2366-2369
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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