Identification and functional characterization of isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) mutations in thyroid cancer

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 Mar 12;393(3):555-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.02.095. Epub 2010 Feb 18.


Mutations in the genes for isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) and isocitrate dehydrogenase 2 (IDH2) have been recently identified in glioblastoma. In the present study, we investigated IDH1 and IDH2 mutations in follicular thyroid cancer (FTC) and anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC), with the latter, like glioblastoma, having a rapidly aggressive and lethal clinical course. By direct genomic DNA sequencing, we analyzed exon 4 of the IDH1 and IDH2 genes that harbored the mutation hot spots codon 132 and 172 of the two genes in glioblastoma, respectively, in 12 thyroid cancer cell lines, 20 FTC, and 18 ATC tumor samples. A novel homozygous G367A IDH1 mutation, resulting in a G123R amino acid change in codon 123, was identified in a case of ATC. A previously described IDH1 V71I mutation was found in a case of FTC and a case of ATC and no mutations were found in the cell lines. The overall prevalence of mutations was thus 1/20 (5%) in FTC and 2/18 (11%) in ATC. We did not find mutation in the IDH2 gene in these thyroid cancer cell lines and tumor samples. Sequence alignment analysis of 16 species revealed that the novel IDH1 G123R mutation was located in a highly conserved region, raising the possibility of a serious functional consequence as could also be predicted by the occurrence of a positively charged amino acid from this mutation. To test this, we created a G123R mutant by site-directed mutagenesis and demonstrated a decreased enzymatic activity of IDH1, similar to the expected reduction in the enzymatic activity of the previously described R132H IDH1 mutant measured as a control. Thus, functionally relevant IDH1 mutations can also occur in thyroid cancer, particularly ATC, suggesting a potential tumorigenic role of the IDH1 system that could represent a new therapeutic target for thyroid cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Humans
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Mutation
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / genetics*


  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase
  • IDH1 protein, human