Specific mutations in the ligand binding domain selectively abolish the silencing function of human thyroid hormone receptor β

Zafar Nawaz, Ming Jer Tsai, Bert W. O'Malley

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Although most nuclear hormone receptors are ligand-dependent transcriptional activators, certain members of this superfamily, such as thyroid hormone receptor (TR) and retinoic acid receptor (RAR), are involved in transcriptional repression. The silencing function of these receptors has been localized to the ligand binding domain (LBD). Previously, we demonstrated that overexpression of either the entire LBD or only the N- terminal region of the LBD (amino acids 168-259) is able to inhibit the silencing activity of TR. From this result we postulated the existence of a limiting factor (corepressor) that is necessary for TR silencing activity. To support this hypothesis, we identified amino acids in the N-terminal region of the LBD of TR that are important for the corepressor interaction and for the silencing function of TR. The silencing activity of TR was unaffected by overexpression of the LBD of mutant TR (V174A/D177A), suggesting that valine at position 174 and/or aspartic acid at position 177 are important for corepressor interaction. This mutant receptor protein, V174/D177, also lost the ability to silence target genes, suggesting that these amino acids are important for silencing function. Control experiments indicate that this mutant TR maintains its wild-type hormone binding and transactivation functions. These findings further strengthen the idea that the N-terminal region of the LBD of TR interacts with a putative corepressor protein(s) to achieve silencing of basal gene transcription.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11691-11695
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number25
StatePublished - Dec 5 1995
Externally publishedYes


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