Thyroid hormone receptors (TR) are ligand-activated transcription factors that modulate the expression of certain target genes in a developmental and tissue-specific manner. These specificities are determined by the tissue distribution of the TR isoforms α1 and β1, the structure of the thyroid hormone response element (TRE) bound by the receptor, and heterodimerization partners. Among these, retinoid X receptors (RXR) have been recognized as the principal partners for TR. The present work reports the identification of a novel nuclear protein from 19-day-old embryonic rat brain that displays a distinct interaction pattern with TR isoforms at the level of the TRE of two genes known to be differentially expressed and regulated by thyroid hormone (T3): the ubiquitous malic enzyme and the brain-specific myelin basic protein. Electrophoretic gel mobility shift assays demonstrate that only TRβ1 forms a specific complex with the rat brain nuclear factor on the myelin basis protein-TRE, but not on the malic enzyme-TRE. Thus, the interaction is selectively determined by both the receptor isoform and the structure of the TRE. The expression of this brain nuclear factor is restricted to the perinatal period, when myelination is sensitive to T3. Gel supershift assays with RXR-specific antibodies indicate that this factor is not one of the known RXR isoforms. However, it is most likely a new member of the RXR subfamily because it could be supershifted with an antibody raised against the highly conserved DNA-binding domain of RXRs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism