NF-κB Essential MOdulator (NEMO) Is Critical for Thyroid Function
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The I-κB kinase (IKK) subunit NEMO/IKKγ (NEMO) is an adapter molecule that is critical for canonical activation of NF-κB, a pleiotropic transcription factor controlling immunity, differentiation, cell growth, tumorigenesis and apoptosis. To explore the functional role of canonical NF-κB signaling in thyroid gland differentiation and function, we have generated a murine strain bearing a genetic deletion of the NEMO locus in thyroid. Here we show that thyrocyte-specific NEMO knockout mice gradually develop hypothyroidism after birth, which leads to reduced body weight and shortened life span. Histological and molecular analysis indicate that absence of NEMO in thyrocytes results in a dramatic loss of the thyroid gland cellularity, associated with down-regulation of thyroid differentiation markers and ongoing apoptosis. Thus, NEMO-dependent signaling is essential for normal thyroid physiology.
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