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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Polarized secretion of thrombospondin is opposite to thyroglobulin in thyroid epithelial cells.

In addition to thyroglobulin, primary thyrocytes secrete into the culture medium significant quantities of p500, a protein so named because of its M(r) > or = 500,000. Epithelial monolayers cultured on porous filters serve as a useful model system in which to study protein secretion. From these monolayers, thyroglobulin, the precursor in thyroid hormonogenesis, was released with apical predominance, while p500 was found mostly in the basolateral medium. Thyrocyte exposure to thyrotropin augmented selectively thyroglobulin but not p500 production. By contrast, exposure to cycloheximide actually augmented p500 production, a response observed for immediate-early proto-oncogenes. Using thyrocyte conditioned medium, the p500 protein was purified to homogeneity. Peptide sequencing of tryptic fragments of purified p500 showed identity to thrombospondin. Immunoprecipitation of thrombospondin from media bathing primary thyrocytes and the FRTL5 cell line quantitatively recovered p500, confirming its identity and indicating an epithelial origin. Gel filtration of secreted thrombospondin eluted at a high molecular weight, suggesting complexation with components of the extracellular matrix. Further, immunofluorescence showed cellular codistribution of thrombospondin and thyroglobulin, although thrombospondin exhibited predominantly an extracellular, basolateral deposition. It seems likely that thrombospondin production by thyrocytes plays a role in the growth or development of the thyroid epithelium.[1]


  1. Polarized secretion of thrombospondin is opposite to thyroglobulin in thyroid epithelial cells. Prabakaran, D., Kim, P., Kim, K.R., Arvan, P. J. Biol. Chem. (1993) [Pubmed]
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