Multinodular goiter (MNG) is characterized by nodules of different size and function. Areas of increased function may emerge, appearing as single, or more frequently, multiple autonomously functioning thyroid nodules (AFTN). The molecular mechanism for the autonomous growth and function of these nodules has been related to mutations in the thyrotropin receptor (TSHR) that constitutively activate the adenylyl cyclase. We searched for mutations in a limited area of the TSHR gene, covering the major mutational hotspot, in 38 AFTNs found in 37 patients with MNGs. We used reverse transcriptase- polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and restriction enzyme analysis of fine- needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) samples to rapidly identify 4 of the more frequently occurring TSHR mutations: D619G, F631C, T632I and D633E. Mutations were identified in 5 nodules (1 D619G mutation and 4 T632I mutations). Subsequently, the entire transmembrane portion of the TSHR gene was sequenced in a random sample of 12 AFTN samples that were free of mutations by RT-PCR and restriction enzyme analysis. By direct sequencing we identified a new mutation, F666L, in the seventh transmembrane domain in a sample from 1 nodule. Analysis of FMA samples of AFTN is an effective approach to identify TSHR gene mutations because individual mutations may be associated with different growth and function in vitro, our approach might, allow correlation of a given mutation with the clinical behavior in vivo.
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 1999|
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