Thyroid hormones influence numerous physiological and biochemical functions. The expression of the hormonal effects involves several events. The interaction of T3 with nuclear receptors, and the stimulation of mRNA production appears to be a major step. Extranuclear binding of thyroid hormones could account for early responses. Plasma membrane receptors may play a role in the cellular uptake of T3 and the stimulation of amino acids and sugar transport. A direct control of oxidative phosphorylation through binding of T3 to mitochondrial binding sites has been proposed. The role of cytosolic binding proteins remains unclear. The understanding of the mode of action of thyroid hormones requires a better knowledge of the molecular events occurring at the nuclear level, and the relation between the nuclear and extranuclear binding sites in the hormonal expression.

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