The role of pendrin in iodide regulation

L. Fugazzola, N. Cerutti, D. Mannavola, G. Vannucchi, P. Beck-Peccoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent advances in human genetics have catalyzed the attention on Pendred's syndrome and its disease-gene, PDS. Studies on the expression of the PDS gene and on the function of its encoded protein, which has been named pendrin, are currently in progress. Consistent with the Pendred's syndrome phenotype, which is characterized by thyroid dysfunction associated to deafness, PDS expression has been demonstrated in the thyroid and in the inner ear. Despite its high homology to known sulfate transporters, pendrin has been shown to transport iodide and chloride, but not sulfate. Thus, it is probably devoted to regulate, at the apical membrane where it has been immunolocalized, the flux of iodide from the thyroid cell to the colloid space. The function of pendrin in the inner ear is not well understood, but it seems to function also at this level as an anion transporter. Indeed, a pronounced PDS expression has been detected in structures of the inner ear, such as the membranous labyrinth and the endolymphatic duct and sac. At this level, the possible role of pendrin could be the maintenance of the appropriate ionic composition of the endolymph. - Although many questions remain to be answered, these recent achievements concerning the putative role of pendrin aid to better understand the genetic basis of the peculiar phenotype of Pendred's syndrome, which associate the dysfunction of two so different organs such as the thyroid and the inner ear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-22
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental and Clinical Endocrinology and Diabetes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Iodide
  • Pendrin
  • Thyroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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