Glycosylation of sodium/iodide symporter (NIS) regulates its membrane translocation and radioiodine uptake

Taemoon Chung, Hyewon Youn, Chan Joo Yeom, Keon Wook Kang, June Key Chung

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Purpose: Human sodium/iodide symporter (hNIS) protein is a membrane glycoprotein that transports iodide ions into thyroid cells. The function of this membrane protein is closely regulated by post-translational glycosylation. In this study, we measured glycosylation-mediated changes in subcellular location of hNIS and its function of iodine uptake. Methods: HeLa cells were stably transfected with hNIS/tdTomato fusion gene in order to monitor the expression of hNIS. Cellular localization of hNIS was visualized by confocal microscopy of the red fluorescence of tdTomato. The expression of hNIS was evaluated by RT-PCR and immunoblot analysis. Functional activity of hNIS was estimated by radioiodine uptake. Cyclic AMP (cAMP) and tunicamycin were used to stimulate and inhibit glycosylation, respectively. In vivo images were obtained using a Maestro fluorescence imaging system. Results: cAMP-mediated Glycosylation of NIS resulted in increased expression of hNIS, stimulating membrane translocation, and enhanced radioiodine uptake. In contrast, inhibition of glycosylation by treatment with tunicamycin dramatically reduced membrane translocation of intracellular hNIS, resulting in reduced radioiodine uptake. In addition, our hNIS/tdTomato fusion reporter successfully visualized cAMP-induced hNIS expression in xenografted tumors from mouse model. Conclusions: These findings clearly reveal that the membrane localization of hNIS and its function of iodine uptake are glycosylation-dependent, as our results highlight enhancement of NIS expression and glycosylation with subsequent membrane localization after cAMP treatment. Therefore, enhancing functional NIS by the increasing level of glycosylation may be suggested as a promising therapeutic strategy for cancer patients who show refractory response to conventional radioiodine treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0142984
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
StatePublished - 23 Nov 2015

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