Accepted Preprint (first posted online 12 February 2018)

    Thyroid hormone receptor localization in target tissues

    1. Lizabeth A Allison
    1. C Anyetei-Anum, Biology, College of William and Mary, 23185, United States
    2. V Roggero, Biology, College of William and Mary, 23185, United States
    3. L Allison, Biology, College of William and Mary, 23185, United States
    1. Correspondence: Lizabeth Allison, Email: laalli{at}


    The thyroid hormone receptors, TRα1, TRβ1, and other subtypes, are members of the nuclear receptor superfamily that mediate the action of thyroid hormone signaling in numerous tissues to regulate important physiological and developmental processes. Their most well-characterized role is as ligand-dependent transcription factors; TRs bind thyroid hormone response elements in the presence or absence of thyroid hormone to facilitate the expression of target genes. Although primarily residing in the nucleus, TRα1 and TRβ1 shuttle rapidly between the nucleus and cytoplasm. We have identified multiple nuclear localization signals and nuclear export signals within TRα1 and TRβ1 that interact with importins and exportins, respectively, to mediate translocation across the nuclear envelope. More recently, enigmatic cytoplasmic functions have been ascribed to other TR subtypes, expanding the diversity of the cellular response to thyroid hormone. By integrating data on localization signal motifs, this review provides an overview of the complex interplay between TR's dynamic transport pathways and thyroid hormone signaling activities. We examine the variation in TR subtype response to thyroid hormone signaling, and what is currently known about regulation of the variety of tissue-specific localization patterns, including targeting to the nucleus, the mitochondrion, and the inner surface of the plasma membrane.

    • Received 15 December 2017
    • Received in final form 6 February 2018
    • Accepted 12 February 2018
    • Accepted Preprint first posted online on 12 February 2018

    This Article

    1. J Endocrinol JOE-17-0708
    1. Abstract

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