Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Clinical Investigation


Geisel School of Medicine


The deiodination of thyroid hormones in extrathyroidal tissues plays an important role in modulating thyroid hormone action. The type II deiodinase (DII) converts thyroxine to the active hormone 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine, and in the rat is expressed in the brain, pituitary gland, and brown adipose tissue (BAT). Complementary DNAs (cDNAs) for the types I and III deiodinases (DI and DIII, respectively) have been isolated and shown to code for selenoproteins. However, information concerning the structure of the mammalian DII remains limited, and the pattern of its expression in human tissues is undefined. We report herein the identification and characterization of rat and human DII cDNAs. Both code for selenoproteins and exhibit limited regions of homology with the DI and DIII. In the rat pituitary and BAT, DII mRNA levels are altered more than 10-fold by changes in the thyroid hormone status of the animal. Northern analysis of RNA derived from human tissues reveals expression of DII transcripts in heart, skeletal muscle, placenta, fetal brain, and several regions of the adult brain. These studies demonstrate that: (a) the rat and human DII are selenoproteins, (b) DII expression in the rat is regulated, at least in part, at the pretranslational level in some tissues, and (c) DII is likely to be of considerable physiologic importance in thyroid hormone economy in the human fetus and adult.



Original Citation

Croteau W, Davey JC, Galton VA, St Germain DL. Cloning of the mammalian type II iodothyronine deiodinase. A selenoprotein differentially expressed and regulated in human and rat brain and other tissues. J Clin Invest. 1996;98(2):405-417. doi:10.1172/JCI118806