Bile acids stimulate invasion and haptotaxis in human colorectal cancer cells through activation of multiple oncogenic signaling pathways

Oncogene. 2002 Oct 3;21(44):6740-50. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1205729.


Bile acids are implicated in colorectal carcinogenesis as evidenced by epidemiological and experimental studies. We examined whether bile acids stimulate cellular invasion of human colorectal and dog kidney epithelial cells at different stages of tumor progression. Colon PC/AA/C1, PCmsrc, and HCT-8/E11 cells and kidney MDCKT23 cells were seeded on top of collagen type I gels and invasive cells were counted after 24 h incubation. Activation of the Rac1 and RhoA small GTPases was investigated by pull-down assays. Haptotaxis was analysed with modified Boyden chambers. Lithocholic acid, chenodeoxycholic acid, cholic acid and deoxycholic acid stimulated cellular invasion of SRC- and RhoA-transformed PCmsrc and MDCKT23-RhoAV14 cells, and of HCT-8/E11 cells originating from a sporadic tumor, but were ineffective in premalignant PC/AA/C1 and MDCKT23 cells. Bile acid-stimulated invasion occurred through stimulation of haptotaxis and was dependent on the RhoA/Rho-kinase pathway and signaling cascades using protein kinase C, mitogen-activated protein kinase, and cyclooxygenase-2. Accordingly, BA-induced invasion was associated with activation of the Rac1 and RhoA GTPases and expression of the farnesoid X receptor. We conclude that bile acids stimulate invasion and haptotaxis in colorectal cancer cells via several cancer invasion signaling pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bile Acids and Salts / pharmacology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Genes, src / physiology*
  • Guanosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Integrin beta1 / physiology
  • Isoenzymes / physiology
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / physiology
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / physiology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • rhoA GTP-Binding Protein / physiology*


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Integrin beta1
  • Isoenzymes
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Guanosine Triphosphate
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • PTGS2 protein, human
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • rhoA GTP-Binding Protein