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Arquivos Brasileiros de Endocrinologia & Metabologia

On-line version ISSN 1677-9487


CARVALHO, Denise P.  and  FERREIRA, Andrea C.F.. The importance of sodium/iodide symporter (NIS) for thyroid cancer management. Arq Bras Endocrinol Metab [online]. 2007, vol.51, n.5, pp.672-682. ISSN 1677-9487.

The thyroid gland has the ability to uptake and concentrate iodide, which is a fundamental step in thyroid hormone biosynthesis. Radioiodine has been used as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool for several years. However, the studies related to the mechanisms of iodide transport were only possible after the cloning of the gene that encodes the sodium/iodide symporter (NIS). The studies about the regulation of NIS expression and the possibility of gene therapy with the aim of transferring NIS gene to cells that normally do not express the symporter have also become possible. In the majority of hypofunctioning thyroid nodules, both benign and malignant, NIS gene expression is maintained, but NIS protein is retained in the intracellular compartment. The expression of NIS in non-thyroid tumoral cells in vivo has been possible through the transfer of NIS gene under the control of tissue-specific promoters. Apart from its therapeutic use, NIS has also been used for the localization of metastases by scintigraphy or PET-scan with 124I. In conclusion, NIS gene cloning led to an important development in the field of thyroid pathophysiology, and has also been fundamental to extend the use of radioiodine for the management of non-thyroid tumors.

Keywords : Thyroid; NIS; Cancer; Radioiodine; Iodide uptake; Gene transfer.

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