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Genetics Home Reference: your guide to understanding genetic conditions     A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine®


Reviewed September 2015

What is the official name of the TSHR gene?

The official name of this gene is “thyroid stimulating hormone receptor.”

TSHR is the gene's official symbol. The TSHR gene is also known by other names, listed below.

What is the normal function of the TSHR gene?

The TSHR gene provides instructions for making a protein, known as a receptor, that attaches (binds) to a hormone called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). This receptor spans the membrane of certain cells (called follicular cells) in the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped tissue in the lower neck. A large part of the receptor sits on the outer surface of the cell (extracellular), and a small portion is retained inside the cell (intracellular). Thyroid stimulating hormone binds to the extracellular portion of the receptor like a key fitting into a lock, activating a series of reactions that control development of the thyroid gland and its functions. Among its functions, the thyroid gland produces iodine-containing hormones (thyroid hormones), which help regulate growth, brain development, and the rate of chemical reactions in the body (metabolism).

How are changes in the TSHR gene related to health conditions?

congenital hypothyroidism - caused by mutations in the TSHR gene

Several TSHR gene mutations have been identified in people with congenital hypothyroidism, a condition characterized by abnormally low levels of thyroid hormones starting from birth. TSHR gene mutations change one of the protein building blocks (amino acids) used to make the thyroid stimulating hormone receptor. Some of these mutations prevent the receptor from properly spanning the membrane, and in some cases the entire receptor is retained inside the cell. As a result, the receptor cannot interact properly with thyroid stimulating hormone. Other mutations impair the receptor's ability to bind with thyroid stimulating hormone, even though the receptor correctly spans the membrane.

Without properly functioning receptors, thyroid hormone production is not stimulated. The body tries to correct the blocked stimulation by producing more thyroid stimulating hormone. In some cases, the increased levels of thyroid stimulating hormone compensate for receptors with minor defects, and the thyroid functions normally. In other cases, thyroid hormone levels remain low, causing mild to severe congenital hypothyroidism. Impaired thyroid stimulating hormone receptors may also disrupt thyroid development, and as a result, the gland is smaller than normal. Cases of congenital hypothyroidism caused by TSHR gene mutations are sometimes classified as thyroid dysgenesis because development of the thyroid gland is impaired.

tumors - associated with the TSHR gene

Sometimes gene mutations are acquired during a person's lifetime and are present only in certain cells. This type of mutation is called somatic, and it is not inherited. Somatic mutations in the TSHR gene have been identified in thyroid tumors. These mutations are found only in the tumor cells.

Somatic TSHR gene mutations have been reported in many cases of noncancerous (benign) thyroid tumors, called nodules or adenomas, which are associated with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). Somatic mutations have also been identified in some cancerous (malignant) thyroid tumors known as thyroid carcinomas. As a result of these somatic mutations, the thyroid stimulating hormone receptor is continuously activated, which could prompt the overgrowth of thyroid cells.

other disorders - caused by mutations in the TSHR gene

TSHR gene mutations can cause disorders associated with hyperthyroidism. These mutations change one of the amino acids used to make the thyroid stimulating hormone receptor. As a result, the receptor is continuously activated and overstimulates the production of thyroid hormones. TSHR gene mutations can lead to an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter) and symptoms of hyperthyroidism, such as a rapid heartbeat. Hyperthyroidism that is present from birth is called nonautoimmune congenital hyperthyroidism (or sporadic toxic thyroid hyperplasia). Onset of hyperthyroidism that begins in childhood or adulthood is known as nonautoimmune autosomal dominant hyperthyroidism (or hereditary toxic thyroid hyperplasia).

Where is the TSHR gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 14q31

Molecular Location on chromosome 14: base pairs 80,954,989 to 81,146,302

(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (NCBI (

The TSHR gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 14 at position 31.

The TSHR gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 14 at position 31.

More precisely, the TSHR gene is located from base pair 80,954,989 to base pair 81,146,302 on chromosome 14.

See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? ( in the Handbook.

Where can I find additional information about TSHR?

You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about TSHR helpful.

You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for genetics professionals and researchers.

What other names do people use for the TSHR gene or gene products?

  • LGR3
  • thyrotropin receptor
  • TSH Receptors

See How are genetic conditions and genes named? ( in the Handbook.

What glossary definitions help with understanding TSHR?

acids ; autosomal ; autosomal dominant ; benign ; cell ; congenital ; dysgenesis ; extracellular ; gene ; goiter ; hereditary ; hormone ; hyperplasia ; hyperthyroidism ; hypothyroidism ; inherited ; intracellular ; iodine ; metabolism ; mutation ; protein ; receptor ; sporadic ; thyroid ; thyroid hormones ; tissue ; toxic ; tumor

You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.


  • Abramowicz MJ, Duprez L, Parma J, Vassart G, Heinrichs C. Familial congenital hypothyroidism due to inactivating mutation of the thyrotropin receptor causing profound hypoplasia of the thyroid gland. J Clin Invest. 1997 Jun 15;99(12):3018-24. (
  • Baş VN, Cangul H, Agladioglu SY, Kendall M, Cetinkaya S, Maher ER, Aycan Z. Mild and severe congenital primary hypothyroidism in two patients by thyrotropin receptor (TSHR) gene mutation. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2012;25(11-12):1153-6. doi: 10.1515/jpem-2012-0211. (
  • Biebermann H, Schöneberg T, Krude H, Schultz G, Gudermann T, Grüters A. Mutations of the human thyrotropin receptor gene causing thyroid hypoplasia and persistent congenital hypothyroidism. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1997 Oct;82(10):3471-80. (
  • Cangul H, Aycan Z, Saglam H, Forman JR, Cetinkaya S, Tarim O, Bober E, Cesur Y, Kurtoglu S, Darendeliler F, Bas V, Eren E, Demir K, Kiraz A, Aydin BK, Karthikeyan A, Kendall M, Boelaert K, Shaw NJ, Kirk J, Högler W, Barrett TG, Maher ER. TSHR is the main causative locus in autosomal recessively inherited thyroid dysgenesis. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2012;25(5-6):419-26. (
  • Cangul H, Saglam H, Saglam Y, Eren E, Dogan D, Kendall M, Tarim O, Maher ER, Barrett TG. An essential splice site mutation (c.317+1G>A) in the TSHR gene leads to severe thyroid dysgenesis. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Sep;27(9-10):1021-5. doi: 10.1515/jpem-2014-0048. (
  • Castro I, Lima L, Seoane R, Lado-Abeal J. Identification and functional characterization of two novel activating thyrotropin receptor mutants in toxic thyroid follicular adenomas. Thyroid. 2009 Jun;19(6):645-9. doi: 10.1089/thy.2009.0002. (
  • Davies TF, Ando T, Lin RY, Tomer Y, Latif R. Thyrotropin receptor-associated diseases: from adenomata to Graves disease. J Clin Invest. 2005 Aug;115(8):1972-83. Review. (
  • Gozu H, Avsar M, Bircan R, Sahin S, Ahiskanali R, Gulluoglu B, Deyneli O, Ones T, Narin Y, Akalin S, Cirakoglu B. Does a Leu 512 Arg thyrotropin receptor mutation cause an autonomously functioning papillary carcinoma? Thyroid. 2004 Nov;14(11):975-80. (
  • NCBI Gene (
  • Park SM, Chatterjee VK. Genetics of congenital hypothyroidism. J Med Genet. 2005 May;42(5):379-89. Review. (
  • Refetoff S. Resistance to thyrotropin. J Endocrinol Invest. 2003 Aug;26(8):770-9. Review. (
  • Russo D, Costante G, Bruno R, Sponziello M, Tamburrano G, Dima M, Sacco R, Giacomelli L, Durante C, Filetti S. TSH receptor extracellular region mutations in thyroid functioning nodules: further evidence for the functional role of this region in the receptor activation. Endocrine. 2011 Dec;40(3):492-4. doi: 10.1007/s12020-011-9525-7. Epub 2011 Aug 24. (


The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? ( in the Handbook.

Reviewed: September 2015
Published: February 1, 2016