The Sodium/Iodide Symporter (NIS): Molecular Physiology and Preclinical and Clinical Applications

Silvia Ravera, Andrea Reyna-Neyra, Giuseppe Ferrandino, L. Mario Amzel, Nancy Carrasco

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Active iodide (I-) transport in both the thyroid and some extrathyroidal tissues is mediated by the Na/I- symporter (NIS). In the thyroid, NIS-mediated I- uptake plays a pivotal role in thyroid hormone (TH) biosynthesis. THs are key during embryonic and postembryonic development and critical for cell metabolism at all stages of life. The molecular characterization of NIS in 1996 and the use of radioactive I- isotopes have led to significant advances in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid cancer and provide the molecular basis for studies aimed at extending the use of radioiodide treatment in extrathyroidal malignancies. This review focuses on the most recent findings on I- homeostasis and I- transport deficiency-causing NIS mutations, as well as current knowledge of the structure/function properties of NIS and NIS regulatory mechanisms. We also discuss employing NIS as a reporter gene using viral vectors and stem cells in imaging, diagnostic, and therapeutic procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-289
Number of pages29
JournalAnnual review of physiology
StatePublished - Feb 10 2017


  • Gene transfer studies
  • Imaging and radioiodide therapy
  • NIS mutations
  • Sodium/iodide symporter
  • Structure/function
  • Thyroid hormones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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