Sodium Iodide Symporter – a Discovery with Promising Application in Clinical Thyroidology, Nuclear Medicine and Oncology
The sodium iodide symporter (NIS) is a membrane glycoprotein that mediates active iodide uptake in the thyroid gland and several extrathyroid tissues. The cloning and characterization of the NIS gene has opened the way for the development of a novel gene therapy and radioiodine-based therapeutic strategy and a reporter gene imaging system. The targeted expression of NIS in cancer cells would enable these cells to concentrate iodide from plasma and would therefore offer the possibility of radioiodine therapy. On the other hand, NIS seems to be a potential autoantigen that may play a role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune thyroid diseases.
Keywords: sodium iodide symporter (NIS), thyroid autoimmunity, thyroid hormonosynthesis, breast cancer.