Endocrine Journal
Online ISSN : 1348-4540
Print ISSN : 0918-8959
ISSN-L : 0918-8959
Thyrotropin receptor antagonists and inverse agonists, and their potential application to thyroid diseases
Yuji NagayamaEijun Nishihara
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2022 Volume 69 Issue 11 Pages 1285-1293


The thyrotropin receptor (TSHR) plays critical roles in thyroid growth and function and in the pathogenesis of several thyroid diseases including Graves’ hyperthyroidism and ophthalmopathy, non-autoimmune hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer. Several low-molecular weight compounds (LMWCs) and anti-TSHR monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) with receptor antagonistic and inverse agonistic activities have been reported. The former binds to the pocket formed by the receptor transmembrane bundle, and the latter to the extracellular TSH binding site. Both are effective inhibitors of TSH/thyroid stimulating antibody-stimulated cAMP and/or hyaluronic acid production in TSHR-expressing cells. Anti-insulin-like growth factor 1 inhibitors are also found to inhibit TSHR signaling. Each agent has advantages and disadvantages; for example, mAbs have a higher affinity and longer half-life but are more costly than LMWCs. At present, mAbs appear most promising, yet the development of more efficacious LMWCs is desirable. These agents are anticipated to be efficacious not only for the above-mentioned diseases but also for resistance to thyroid hormone and have utility for thyroid cancer radionuclide scintigraphy/therapy as a new theranostic.

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© The Japan Endocrine Society
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