Endocrinology 2008 Feb 8;149(2):695-702. Epub 2007 Nov 8.
Laboratory of Molecular Oncology, Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale, Viale Regina Elena, 324-00161, Rome, Italy.
Human type II deiodinase is a master regulator of thyroid hormone activation in several tissues. In placenta, type II deiodinase mRNA levels and enzymatic activity are elevated only during the first trimester of pregnancy and then progressively decline. During this early stage, mitogens such as epidermal growth factor (EGF) have been shown to promote the proliferation of the trophoblast by acting through multiple mechanisms. Here we show that EGF modulates transcription of human type II deiodinase gene (Dio2) through distinct signaling pathways, leading to the assembly of a heterogeneous transcription factor complex. Gene expression and deiodination assays have shown that EGF promptly induces a short-lived Dio2 mRNA and enzymatic activity. The induction is mediated by ERK and p38 kinases, as demonstrated by selective inhibition or overexpression of different mitogen-activated kinases. Reporter assays of mutant constructs indicate that EGF-induced transcriptional activity on Dio2 promoter is mediated by the cAMP response element (CRE) and does not involve the activating protein 1 site. With functional and biochemical approaches, we have demonstrated that the EGF stimulation culminates with the assembly and recruitment over the Dio2 CRE of a composite complex, which consists of c-Jun, c-Fos, and CRE-binding protein. These results further support the hypothesis that placental iodothyronine metabolism is critical during early pregnancy.