Characterization of the uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyltransferase-catalyzing thyroid hormone glucuronidation in man

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2000 Aug;85(8):2879-83. doi: 10.1210/jcem.85.8.6715.


Increased thyroid hormone glucuronidation in rats caused by exposure to xenobiotics has stimulated a search for the individual uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs) catalyzing this reaction in rats and man. Microsomal preparations from Crigler-Najjar liver, normal human liver, and kidney have been used to try to identify the UGT isoforms responsible for glucuronidation of the thyroid hormones. The predominant thyroid hormone released from the thyroid gland, T4, and the inactive rT3 are glucuronidated by cloned expressed bilirubin UGT1A1 and also phenol UGT1A9. Results from Crigler-Najjar microsomal samples indicate that UGT1A1 is the main contributor to thyroid hormone glucuronidation in the liver, with rT3 being the preferential substrate. In kidney microsomes thyroid hormone glucuronidation is more complex, suggesting that more than just the UGT1A9 isoform may be involved. Bioactive T3 is not significantly glucuronidated by these isoforms and other UGTs, and sulfotransferases may be involved.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Crigler-Najjar Syndrome / enzymology*
  • Crigler-Najjar Syndrome / genetics
  • Exons
  • Glucuronosyltransferase / genetics
  • Glucuronosyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Kidney / enzymology*
  • Kinetics
  • Microsomes / enzymology*
  • Microsomes, Liver / enzymology*
  • Rats
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Substrate Specificity
  • TATA Box
  • Thyroxine / metabolism*
  • Triiodothyronine, Reverse / metabolism*


  • Isoenzymes
  • Triiodothyronine, Reverse
  • Glucuronosyltransferase
  • Thyroxine