Table of Contents
Advances in Endocrinology
Volume 2014, Article ID 189194, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/189194
Review Article

The Emerging Roles of Thyroglobulin

1Laboratory of Molecular Diagnostics, Department of Mycobacteriology, Leprosy Research Center, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, 4-2-1 Aoba-cho, Higashimurayama-shi, Tokyo 189-0002, Japan
2Department of Education Planning and Development, Faculty of Medicine, Toho University, Tokyo 143-8540, Japan

Received 10 February 2014; Accepted 12 March 2014; Published 10 April 2014

Academic Editor: James M. Lenhard

Copyright © 2014 Yuqian Luo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Thyroglobulin (Tg), the most important and abundant protein in thyroid follicles, is well known for its essential role in thyroid hormone synthesis. In addition to its conventional role as the precursor of thyroid hormones, we have uncovered a novel function of Tg as an endogenous regulator of follicular function over the past decade. The newly discovered negative feedback effect of Tg on follicular function observed in the rat and human thyroid provides an alternative explanation for the observation of follicle heterogeneity. Given the essential role of the regulatory effects of Tg, we consider that dysregulation of normal Tg function is associated with multiple human thyroid diseases including autoimmune thyroid disease and thyroid cancer. Additionally, extrathyroid Tg may serve a regulatory function in other organs. Further exploration of Tg action, especially at the molecular level, is needed to obtain a better understanding of both the physiological and pathological roles of Tg.