Role of co-regulators in metabolic and transcriptional actions of thyroid hormone

    1. Inna Astapova
    1. Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    1. Correspondence should be addressed to I Astapova; Email: iastapov{at}


    Thyroid hormone (TH) controls a wide range of physiological processes through TH receptor (TR) isoforms. Classically, TRs are proposed to function as tri-iodothyronine (T3)-dependent transcription factors: on positively regulated target genes, unliganded TRs mediate transcriptional repression through recruitment of co-repressor complexes, while T3 binding leads to dismissal of co-repressors and recruitment of co-activators to activate transcription. Co-repressors and co-activators were proposed to play opposite roles in the regulation of negative T3 target genes and hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid axis, but exact mechanisms of the negative regulation by TH have remained elusive. Important insights into the roles of co-repressors and co-activators in different physiological processes have been obtained using animal models with disrupted co-regulator function. At the same time, recent studies interrogating genome-wide TR binding have generated compelling new data regarding effects of T3, local chromatin structure, and specific response element configuration on TR recruitment and function leading to the proposal of new models of transcriptional regulation by TRs. This review discusses data obtained in various mouse models with manipulated function of nuclear receptor co-repressor (NCoR or NCOR1) and silencing mediator of retinoic acid receptor and thyroid hormone receptor (SMRT or NCOR2), and family of steroid receptor co-activators (SRCs also known as NCOAs) in the context of TH action, as well as insights into the function of co-regulators that may emerge from the genome-wide TR recruitment analysis.

    • Received 8 December 2015
    • Accepted 16 December 2015
    • Made available online as an Accepted Preprint 1 April 2016
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