The sodium iodide symporter: Its pathophysiological and therapeutic implications

Christine Spitzweg, John C. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


The sodium iodide symporter (NIS) is an intrinsic plasma membrane protein that mediates the active transport of iodide in the thyroid gland and a number of extrathyroidal tissues, in particular lactating mammary gland. Because of its crucial role in the ability of thyroid follicular cells to trap iodide, cloning of NIS opened an exciting and extensive new field of thyroid-related research. Cloning and molecular characterization of NIS allowed investigation of its expression and regulation in thyroidal and nonthyroidal tissues, and its potential pathophysiological and therapeutic implications in benign and malignant thyroid disease. In addition to its key function in thyroid physiology, NIS-mediated iodide accumulation allows diagnostic thyroid scintigraphy as well as effective therapeutic application of radioiodine in benign and malignant thyroid disease. Characterization and application of NIS as a novel therapeutic gene and the presence of high native NIS expression in the majority of breast cancers further suggest a promising role of NIS in diagnosis and therapy of cancer outside the thyroid gland.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-574
Number of pages16
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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