PROSITE documentation PDOC00617
Transthyretin signatures


Transthyretin (prealbumin) [1] is a thyroid hormone-binding protein that seems to transport thyroxine (T4) from the bloodstream to the brain. It is a protein of about 130 amino acids that assembles as a homotetramer and forms an internal channel that binds thyroxine. Transthyretin is mainly synthesized in the brain choroid plexus. In humans, variants of the protein are associated with distinct forms of amyloidosis.

The sequence of transthyretin is highly conserved in vertebrates. A number of uncharacterized proteins also belong to this family:

  • Escherichia coli hypothetical protein yedX.
  • Bacillus subtilis hypothetical protein yunM.
  • Caenorhabditis elegans hypothetical protein R09H10.3.
  • Caenorhabditis elegans hypothetical protein ZK697.8.

We selected two regions as signature patterns. The first located in the N-terminal extremity starts with a lysine known to be involved in binding T4. The second pattern is located in the C-terminal extremity.

Last update:

December 2004 / Pattern and text revised.


Technical section

PROSITE methods (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:

TRANSTHYRETIN_1, PS00768; Transthyretin signature 1  (PATTERN)

TRANSTHYRETIN_2, PS00769; Transthyretin signature 2  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsSchreiber G. Richardson S.J.
TitleThe evolution of gene expression, structure and function of transthyretin.
SourceComp. Biochem. Physiol. 116B:137-160(1997).

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