TAZ is a coactivator for Pax8 and TTF-1, two transcription factors involved in thyroid differentiation

Tina Di Palma, Barbara D'Andrea, Giovanna Lucia Liguori, Annamaria Liguoro, Tiziana de Cristofaro, Dolores Del Prete, Andrea Pappalardo, Anna Mascia, Mariastella Zannini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pax8 and TTF-1 are transcription factors involved in the morphogenesis of the thyroid gland and in the transcriptional regulation of thyroid-specific genes. Both proteins are expressed in few tissues but their simultaneous presence occurs only in the thyroid where they interact physically and functionally allowing the regulation of genes that are markers of the thyroid differentiated phenotype. TAZ is a transcriptional coactivator that regulates the activity of several transcription factors therefore playing a central role in tissue-specific transcription. The recently demonstrated physical and functional interaction between TAZ and TTF-1 in the lung raised the question of whether TAZ could be an important regulatory molecule also in the thyroid. In this study, we demonstrate the presence of TAZ in thyroid cells and the existence of an important cooperation between TAZ and the transcription factors Pax8 and TTF-1 in the modulation of thyroid gene expression. In addition, we reveal that the three proteins are co-expressed in the nucleus of differentiated thyroid cells and that TAZ interacts with both Pax8 and TTF-1, in vitro and in vivo. More importantly, we show that this interaction leads to a significant enhancement of the transcriptional activity of Pax8 and TTF-1 on the thyroglobulin promoter thus suggesting a role of TAZ in the control of genes involved in thyroid development and differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-175
Number of pages14
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 2009


  • Gene regulation
  • Pax8
  • TAZ
  • Thyroid differentiation
  • TTF-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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