SLC26A4 is a known iodide transporter, and is localized at the apical membrane of thyrocytes. Previously, we reported that SLC26A7 is also involved in iodide transport and that Slc26a7 is a novel causative gene for congenital hypothyroidism. However, its detailed role in vivo remains to be elucidated. We generated mice that were deficient in Slc26a7 and Slc26a4 to delineate differences and associations in their roles in iodide transport. Slc26a7-/- mice showed goitrous congenital hypothyroidism and mild growth failure on a normal diet. Slc26a7-/- mice with a low iodine environment showed marked growth failure. In contrast, Slc26a4-/- mice showed no growth failure and hypothyroidism in the same low iodine environment. Double-deficient mice showed more severe growth failure than Slc26a7-/- mice. RNA-seq analysis revealed that the number of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in Slc26a7-/- mice was significantly higher than that in Slc26a4-/- mice. These indicate that SLC26A7 is more strongly involved in iodide transport and the maintenance of thyroid function than SLC26A4.
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