2012 Volume 59 Issue 1 Pages 13-19
Toxic adenoma and toxic multinodular goiter (TMNG) are common causes of hyperthyroidism in iodine-deficient regions, but they are relatively rare in iodine-sufficient regions, including Japan. Constitutive activating mutations of the thyroid stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) gene and adenylate cyclase-stimulating G α protein (GNAS) gene are frequent in these thyrotoxic disorders. Here we report two cases of rare TSHR gene mutations in Japanese thyrotoxicosis patients. In Case 1, we observed multiple toxic nodules with thyrotoxicosis, and in Case 2, we detected a solitary toxic nodule in an 8-year-old girl. In both cases, ultrasonography showed thyroid nodules and scintigraphy revealed increased uptake. Total thyroidectomy was performed for Case 1 and a hemi-thyroidectomy was performed for Case 2. Genetic analysis of the resected tissues revealed an I568F mutation in Case 1 and a S281I mutation in the TSHR gene in Case 2. The I568F mutation was located in the second extracellular loop, and the S281I mutation was located in the N-terminal extracellular domain of the TSH receptor. In Case 1, the mutation was restricted to the largest nodule, and was not detected in other functioning nodules or non-nodule thyroid tissue. Bi-allelic expression of the TSHR gene was confirmed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in both tumors. Both the I568F and S281I mutations were studied previously in vitro, and were revealed to cause basal activation of the protein kinase A pathway. Case 1 represents the second reported case of an I568F mutation and Case 2 represents the third reported case of an S281I mutation.