Thyroid hormone receptors: the challenge of elucidating isotype-specific functions and cell-specific response

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Jul;1830(7):3900-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2012.06.003. Epub 2012 Jun 13.


Background: Thyroid hormone receptors TRα1, TRβ1 and TRβ2 are broadly expressed and exert a pleiotropic influence on many developmental and homeostatic processes. Extensive genetic studies in mice precisely defined their respective function.

Scope of review: The purpose of the review is to discuss two puzzling issues:

Major conclusions: Mouse genetics support a balanced contribution of expression pattern and receptor intrinsic properties in defining the receptor respective functions. The molecular mechanisms sustaining cell specific response remain hypothetical and based on studies performed with other nuclear receptors.

General significance: The isoform-specificity and cell-specificity questions have many implications for clinical research, drug development, and endocrine disruptor studies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Thyroid hormone signalling.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Receptors, Thyroid Hormone / genetics
  • Receptors, Thyroid Hormone / metabolism
  • Receptors, Thyroid Hormone / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Thyroid Hormones / genetics
  • Thyroid Hormones / metabolism


  • Protein Isoforms
  • Receptors, Thyroid Hormone
  • Thyroid Hormones