Development of monoclonal antibodies against the human sodium iodide symporter: immunohistochemical characterization of this protein in thyroid cells

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1999 Aug;84(8):2957-62. doi: 10.1210/jcem.84.8.5871.


The thyroid sodium-iodide symporter (NIS) is responsible for iodide concentrating ability within thyroid follicular cells. We sought to develop monoclonal antibodies against human NIS (hNIS) for use as reagents in structure-function studies of the protein, as well as potential tools in the assessment of NIS expression in benign and malignant thyroid tissues. Synthetic peptides corresponding to the second ExMD and to the carboxy-terminal ExMD of hNIS were produced and utilized as antigens to develop monoclonal antibodies, which were tested by Western blotting using membranes prepared from COS-7 cells transiently transfected with a pcDNA3 plasmid containing the gene for the full-length hNIS, or a control vector. Western blotting showed a major band with molecular weight (MW) of approximately 97 kDa and several minor bands with MW of approximately 160 kDa, 68 kDa, 30 kDa, and 15 kDa, all specific for hNIS-transfected cells. Immunohistochemistry was performed in various types of thyroid tissues and nonthyroidal tissues, using the monoclonal antibodies. Strong immunostaining was observed in Graves' tissue, intermediate staining in papillary and follicular thyroid cancer, and no staining in Hürthle cell cancer or in nonthyroidal tissue. The staining was specific for the follicular epithelium in each of the tissues and was most intense in the basolateral portion of the cell membrane. Overall, our observations indicate that the monoclonal antibodies are specific for hNIS and will be invaluable reagents for investigating the role of NIS in thyroid disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Blotting, Western
  • COS Cells
  • Carrier Proteins / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Iodides / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sodium / metabolism*
  • Thyroid Gland / chemistry*
  • Thyroid Gland / cytology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Iodides
  • Sodium